MUMBAI, Nov 29: Ricky Ponting’s decision to call it quits on Thursday, might have added fuel to the fire in the raging debate over Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement, but India opener Gautam Gambhir feels his senior team-mate still has a lot to offer.

“Nobody can force anyone to retire. Each individual knows when is the best time to retire. Ponting retiring doesn’t mean that Sachin also has to quit now. It’s an individual decision. They are from two different countries, two different individuals. So there is no question of a comparison,” Gambhir said on Thursday.

At a time when the 39-year-old batsman’s place in the team has been questioned by critics, Gambhir went to the extent of saying that Tendulkar still has the ‘capability to make lots of runs for India’.

“His presence in the dressing room itself is a big thing for the country. I am sure he will come out of it. Everybody goes through ups and downs. It’s the sheer joy of playing the game, he loves playing. He is the greatest cricketer India has produced.

“Not just on the field, as a mentor he contributes off the field too. He still has the capability to make lots of runs for India,” Gambhir said.—Agencies

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