It’s almost inevitable. After all the talk about Ricky Ponting’s greatness has settled down, the argument will once again turn to Sachin Tendulkar.
The question almost all of Tendulkar’s critics will ask is this: If Ponting could put his team ahead of himself, why can’t Sachin?
Whether you like it or not – one of the few cricketers who can be compared to Sachin is Ponting. For most of their careers, they were in a battle to become the best batsman in the world – they were rivals in every sense of the world. They rose together, and now they seem to be falling together too.
In their last 14 innings, Sachin Tendulkar & Ricky Ponting have combined to put on 250 runs at an average of 17.86. Indeed, greatness seems to be a thing of the past.
But then again, Tendulkar’s fans will argue that Ponting’s retirement has nothing to do with the Indian star. Ponting felt he was finished, Sachin simply doesn’t feel that way and the decision to retire differs from person to person.
One simply can’t turn around and say that because Ponting has decided to retire, Sachin must too.
Senior cricket writer Ayaz Memon also weighed in on the argument during SportsTalk.
“Sometimes we make too much of age. Ponting is almost 38, Tendulkar is almost 40. But if age is the only criteria then Jacques Kallis, who is in the form of his life, shouldn’t be too far away from retirement either. Age should never be the issue. I think form and fitness… match-worthiness,” said Ayaz.
So should there be a comparison at all?
“Yes and no… the comparisons are valid to an extent. Brian Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar were the best batsmen of their generation but there comes an age; a time for even the best batsmen to call it quits. Lara did it when he was almost 40, Ponting is almost 38. Tendulkar is 39 and going strong. But somewhere there is an inner voice which tells them it’s time to go.
“But then again, every person has his own clock. Of course, the timing is very crucial and there is a cliché that says you must quit before people start asking why and not why not. But I believe that is a question that all these guys are asking themselves internally and Ponting did that for almost 15 months.”
Watch the entire discussion between Sports Editor Ashish Magotra and Ayaz Memon in the video above.