India have won the Test series against New Zealand 2-0 and it’s a period of quiet optimism for the team. The seniors – Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman -- have retired but the juniors, led by Virat Kohli, have acquitted themselves very well.
However, news of India’s victory was drowned in the cacophony that surrounded the ‘bowled’ dismissals of Sachin Tendulkar. Sunil Gavaskar thought that maybe the right-hander’s footwork may be affected by age. And that was it… all hell broke loose.
But is it justified? Senior sports writer Ayaz Memon disagrees. Rather than talk about Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement, Ayaz feels that the discussion should centre around the role he should play instead.
“You can’t expect him to come out and play shots. He has changed; he has changed a lot. But perhaps, he needs to change once more, and become the run accumulator that Rahul Dravid was. He needs to become the pivot around which the rest of the batsmen can bat,” said Ayaz.
“The thing is, only he can do the job. Virender Sehwag can’t do it; Gautam Gambhir should be allowed to play his shots but he can drop anchor; Kohli is batting brilliant – just let him be; Pujara has shown he too can play shots – you don’t want him to be another Dravid -- and who better than Tendulkar to show them how it’s done.”
Indeed, his footwork may have become slower. But he’s 39. He isn’t going to get any faster but that doesn't mean he can't make up for it.
“Yes, he may be a little slower but he can compensate with technique and the rich experience,” said Ayaz.
Watch the entire discussion about Tendulkar, Kohli, R Ashwin and Dhoni between Ayaz Memon and Ashish Magotra in the video above.