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The Rediff Special
'Sachin is past his prime'
January 10, 2006
When we asked readers if Sachin's record would be eclipsed in our feature on top Test century-makers, we received many, many responses. Monday onwards, we began posting the responses. Check them out.
Yes, Atleast in Test matches. Of late Sachin is not playing that well and the way Ponting is scoring centuries in every or alternate innings he is the person who will surpass Sachin very soon.
Brian Lara will be the man who will overtake Sachin. Why do we give so much importance to Sachin's record? What about the highest score? Most doubles? Most triples?
It definitely will be eclipsed and by none other than Ricky Ponting but Sachin will emerge with the most Test centuries at the end of both cricketers' careers.
Ricky Ponting has been fabulous over the last few years. His two hundreds in his 100th Test are remarkable, especially in the second innings when he scored at a scorching pace.
I think when Ponting overtakes Tendulkar he will be remembered more for playing to win rather than chasing hundreds.
All sports lovers, As you all love the one and only the great one -- none other than the great Sachin Tendulkar.
I have analysed all the details provided and my conclusion is under:
2 10 out of the 18 players on the current list are on the verge of retiring including Ponting, Hayden, Lara, Langer, Kallis, Trescothik, Inzamam, Chandrapaul, Attapatu, Kirsten.
Sachin's record can be eclipsed soon as there are players who are better than Sachin. Lara is very near Sachin's record and can break his record very soon. So Sachin should start playing his natural game and make more centuries soon.
I personally feel that Sachin's record will be eclipsed either by Brian Lara or Ricky Ponting.
I think Ponting has a better chance of surpassing Sachin because of two reasons:
1. Ponting's dominance is increasing day by day and he has become the most consistent and feared batsman in the world whereas Sachin's record in Tests since 2003 if I am not wrong when he has last toured the West Indies has seen a drastic fall. He is not the same player anymore. He has a string of single digit scores coupled with one or two centuries in between. He is no longer feared by bowlers. A lot of technical weakenesses has creeped into Sachin's batting which is clearly reflected in the manner he has been dismissed -- the number of LBW decisions and the number of times he has been bowled.
2. Ponting has age on his side to surpass Sachin's record.
If Sachin remains in form for the next two years it will not be possible to eclipse his record.
Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting.
The way Ponting is belting hundred after hundred it will be no surprise if he eclipses the record in a couple of years and maybe even better it.
Tendulkar, considering the way he bats now with a defensive approach, may have to wait a while to get his next hundred. It won't be easy against Pakistan.
Matthew Hayden will eclipse the record soon.
Ponting is the only person around who can surpass Sachin, and if it is to happen, in the next few years. Otherwise, there will be a big wait.
Ponting's performance in the last five years is an expression of his confidence and the performance of the Australian team. He is at the top as his able team has kept performing in recent times, again and again. He is enjoying his time and has no pressure whatsoever. If at times he is required to focus more, he is able to do so. There are a few times when there is pressure on him and hence you can see Ricky as one of the most fluent batsman of recent times.
Things have changed for Sachin. He is fighting mental battles and is no as strong mentally as Ricky is. He is overmonitored by the media and has too much to concentrate besides his batting.
Sachin can become his fluent self if India's youngsters like Yuvraj and Pathan become the backbone of Indian cricket besides Harbhajan. If this happens, if India returns to winning ways, if the media concentrates on some other person, Sachin can still be unbeatable.
Sachin has taken more time than expected to get to where he is. A century in each series Ponting plays or Hayden plays surely will take them past Sachin. The way Sachin is playing nowadays I don't think he will get past more than 40 to 43 Test centuries.
Ponting has age with him (I don't forget Sachin is just 32) and they play plenty of Tests. When we look at the number of centuries Ponting has scored in the recent Test series it is evident he is going to notch another 4 to 5 centuries in another four months.
The only way Sachin's record Test centuries cannot be eclipsed is that he scores at least two centuries in each Test series he plays from now on which will take him past 50 or 60 centuries when he hangs his bat, which I think is not possible.
Please don't think I am an anti-Sachin person. I like cricket and I like all players who play well. I know Sachin was God earlier. He has now become mortal.
Ponting will break Sachin's record since Australia is playing more matches than any other country. Also in his present form and at his age Ponting will definitely break all records.
Both Hayden and Ponting will eclipse Sachin who is past his prime. In fact, Kallis too will overtake Sachin.
Sachin was great but is only surviving now.
I certainly see Ricky Ponting getting to the top. His consistency is remarkable while Tendulkar's centuries are once in a series event. There is a marked difference in the way Ponting paces his century as against Tendulkar's. Aggression is the key and Ponting thrives under pressure.
Sachin's record will be broken by Ponting and Dravid.
Ponting will break Sachin's record. Ricky is amazing. How often have you see Sachin playing for the team? I still remember his comments when India declared when he was on 195 during the last Pakistan tour.
Hayden and Ponting are the threats for Sachin's Test record. With Sachin already injured, he is very likely to lose the race. That too with the speed at which these two guys are scoring centuries. Another two years is more than enough for these guys.
Watch out for the next bunch of your responses tomorrow!