Sachin to South Africa tour must not be inevitable, rather on performance




Just because you want the bag to have more weight, would you carry a box with decaying food in it?

The name of Sachin Tendulkar in playing XI is no more inevitable. Its high time he is dealt just like any other player in the team.

First of all, i am not here to say Sachin Tendulkar must retire from all forms of cricket immediately. For me, selection of any player in the starting XI is based on just ticking three boxes; fitness, present form and team need. If someone ticks all three boxes, then i don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be playing in the team. At present, Sachin just about ticks all three boxes with improvement in present form and continuous work on fitness needed. Age is a losers argument if you ask me. I don’t know why people hold special consideration to age for their judgement, not just in cricket but in any discipline for that matter.

Indian’s very own rocket man and most beloved president ever, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam when asked about age, said “As you all know, the earth rotates on its own axis once in a day having 24 hours or 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds. Earth itself orbits around the sun. It takes nearly one year for an orbit. With the completion of one rotation of earth around the sun, your age is added by one year as you are living on planet earth.” Its that simple as Abdul Kalam sir said. Age after all is something used to know someone’s value of living and not the other way around, say why you living so long.

I am little worried with some talk in the recent week saying “preserve Sachin Tendulkar for South Africa tour in 2013 because Indian team direly needs him”. If we forecast with this mind set, then we are just over complicating and delaying the transition process in all. Just because you want the bag to have more weight, would you carry a box with decaying food in it? Well, that’s what they are asking Indian team to do. What i am stressing her, don’t make his selection inevitable. If you do so, then it will be the last worst situation that Indian cricket team want to be found in their pursuit of excellence. Isn’t a player of caliber needs to merit his selection in the squad through performance? Think!

With a poor year in terms of runs, Sachin must set the home series against England and Australia in fire with bat.

Although I agree with Sambit Bal here that if Sachin plays in all next 10 test matches, then he almost obliged to go South Africa. But what if he fails? With average of just 36 in last 22 innings (13 matches) and only 7 scores above 40 runs without a century, Sachin needs big performance in ongoing home season to justify his place. Remember there is nearly 8 months gap exists between last (vs Australia) and next (vs South Africa) test match of India in 2013. In between these 8 months period, India plays 10 ODI’s (7 in one series against Australia) and 1 T20. Its safe to assume, prior to SA tour, Sachin would have played only in Indian Premier League (IPL) and if qualified, Champions League T20. I don’t remember when he last played in Ranji. So on what basis selectors will pick Sachin for SA tour? Think!

Also the consequences the team will have to face is actually more if they pick Sachin. Starting from SA tour 2013 till 2015 ICC world cup, India plays 15 of their total 18 tests away from home. Those 15 test matches are as follows- three in SA tour (Nov 2013 – Jan 2014) and NZ tour (Feb – Mar 2014) respectively, five tests in Eng tour (Jun – Sept 2014) and four tests in Aus tour (Dec 2014 – Jan 2015). So, you can see the performance in 12 out of these 15 tests are what will prove India team good or not. If we go by the preservation thing, aren’t we need Sachin till January 2015? Think!

With Dravid and Laxman retirement, we have no other option than look up Sachin for smoothly transforming the team into youngsters hand. I have no objection even if Sachin goes on and play in Australia tour, or even beyond that, provided he ticks all three boxes I mentioned earlier. But please don’t make it painfully inevitable.

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