Has Sachin Tendulkar played his last match in India?
In the Delhi Test one got the feeling that this might be the last occasion that fans would see Sachin Tendulkar bat in India, says Harish Kotian
Sachin Tendulkar got a huge ovation when he came out to bat in both innings of the fourth and final Test against Australia in Delhi on Sunday.
It is no surprise that he gets a huge cheer when he comes out to bat, be it in India or anywhere in the world. But in Delhi one got a feeling that the audience had an inkling that this could be the last occasion that they would see the batting icon bat for India.
With no Test matches scheduled at home for the next year-and-a-half, this could well be the last time Tendulkar played for India in India.
Tendulkar could hang up his boots after the tour of South Africa
The 39-year-old has already retired from ODIs and is only playing in the longer format to prolong his career.
India are scheduled to tour South Africa in November, followed by tours to New Zealand and England next year, which means India won't be playing Tests at home at least till October 2014.
Many believe that Tendulkar will hang up his boots after the tour of South Africa, though India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says never speculate anything when it comes to Tendulkar.
"Don't speculate! No ifs no buts. Either you say it is or you say it is not. 2005 you [media] said the same thing so let's not speculate," he said, in Delhi on Sunday.
Tendulkar's retirement talk going on for a long time
In many ways Dhoni is right, because talk of Tendulkar's retirement has been going on for a long time and in every series he plays.
Tendulkar will turn 40 next month and it remains to be seen how much longer he will continue to represent India. The veteran batsman is playing for the country for 23 years now, having made his debut in 1989 as a 16-year-old.
He holds the record for the most number of Test matches, having featured in 198, and has a record tally of 15,837 runs, 51 centuries and 67 fifties.