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'Failure to score 100th ton has made Tendulkar desperate'

March 04, 2012 10:17 IST

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell says Sachin Tendulkar should now introspect whether he is playing cricket for the right reasons.

"When a player of Tendulkar's ability starts blaming other people for his failure to deliver, it's time he looked in the mirror and asked himself: 'Am I playing this game for the right reason?'

- Mr Srikkanth, shut up and crack the whip!

"There's only one reason to play cricket; to help your team win matches. If a player gives everything and the team loses there is no shame in that; but when individual statistics start to overshadow the team result then clearly there is a problem," Chappell wrote in his column for Sunday Telegraph.

Chappell said Tendulkar became desperate at not being able to score his 100th international century and that led to his gesture that Brett Lee blocked him during a tri-series match in Sydney.

Sachin Tendulkar"What could have been a glorious farewell tour of Australia for Sachin Tendulkar has turned into an ongoing tale of missed opportunities, leading to frustration all round," Chappell said.

"With each failure to score his coveted 100th international century, Tendulkar has become more desperate to the point where, when he was run-out at the SCG, he gestured in Brett Lee's direction as if to say: 'It was his fault, I was caught short of my crease'," he said.

Chappell felt that Tendulkar's search for his 100th international ton has become a "burden" to the Indian team.

"That's been a huge hurdle for India to overcome all summer -- Tendulkar's search for his 100th century has become a burden on the team as well as the player.

"It's not surprising that fans in India revere Tendulkar; his outstanding performances over the years have earned him exalted status. However, when a player is constantly accorded star treatment on the field it starts to annoy other cricketers, and not necessarily only those in the opposition," said Chappell.

Analysing Tendulkar's performance during the Australian tour, Chappell said that the Indian batsman looked in good touch when he was playing freely but showed vulnerability when he batted conservatively.

"The strange part about this saga of missed opportunities is that Tendulkar started the tour in really good form. In both the MCG and SCG Tests, he looked good when playing his shots and it was only as he either neared a break in play or his landmark hundred that he began to clam up.

"When he was playing shots he looked like Tendulkar of old, but when he batted conservatively he looked vulnerable. His dismissal in the SCG Test, prodding forward defensively to an innocuous Michael Clarke delivery following a period of cautious batting, was a case in point," said Chappell.

"As the tour wore on and India wore down, Tendulkar's form deteriorated. The Australian bowlers eventually got inside his mind and, along with thoughts of his century, this was too much to process," he added.

Chappell said Tendulkar playing in the tri-series after deciding to skip ODIs after the World Cup showed a "strange" Indian selection process.

"His return to the one-day side, after missing all of India's games since their 2011 World Cup victory, has resulted in an even stranger than usual Indian selection process," he said.

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