'Let Tendulkar decide when he wants to retire'
Former India captain and manager Ajit Wadekar tells Harish Kotian the ace batsman will get over his bad phase and return to his best form soon.
While India and England played out a dreary draw in Nagpur, the venue was buzzing with speculation of Sachin Tendulkar's retirement right through the five days of the fourth and final Test.
Tendulkar scored just 112 runs in the four Tests, at a lowly average of 18.66. While many called for him to retire, some wanted him to be dropped from the team.
However, former India captain and chairman of selectors Ajit Wadekar, who has seen Tendulkar from close quarters, says only the veteran batsman has the right to take a call on his career.
"I think we should leave it to Sachin to decide when he wants to go. He has played for 23 years, and any other cricketer in international cricket has not played for so long or even come close. Even as the former chairman of selectors, I would say no one has the right to decide on when he should retire because only he is the right person to judge it. So I would say let Sachin decide when he wants to go," Wadekar told Rediff.com.
'His presence in the team is a big motivation for the youngsters'
Wadekar, who served as manager of the Indian team from 1992 to 1996, and chairman of selectors from 1998-98, believes Tendulkar, at 39, is still supremely fit.
"I am sure that if he is 100 percent fit then he will surely continue playing because his presence in the team is a big motivation for the youngsters. He also looks active on the field, so there is no reason why we should think about his retirement or anything."
The former India captain also fails to understand why people expect him to perform every time he goes out to the middle.
"People have to understand that he is not a machi#8800 he can't score every time he goes out in the middle. He has done so much for the team, scored so many runs in both formats, scored so many centuries and broken so many records," he said.
"Every player goes through bad form at some point or the other in his career. Even the great Dennis Compton got out seven times for a duck. You can ask God for everything but even God can't give you everything," he added.
'I believe that India needs him pretty badly at the moment'
Wadekar also believes that the team, which lost to England 2-1 in the four-Test series, needs him more than ever, as they going through a period of transition and it would be wrong to drop him at such a crucial juncture.
"I believe that India needs him pretty badly at the moment. Everyone looks up to him to motivate the youngsters in the team; his presence in the dressing room is a big boost for everyone."
Wadekar pointed out that Tendulkar has given his all for Indian cricket in the last 23 years and everyone needs to support him during this tough time.
"He has given his all for cricket. He has been playing for 23 years now and that is not an easy thing to do. He is one of the best players to have played the game and I am sure he will get over his bad phase and get back to his best form soon," he said.