So much has already been said about the kind of numbers that Sachin Tendulkar put up in ODIs that it makes almost any argument against his greatness null and void. So while it is certain that the Indian team will miss him in ODIs — it’s not quite certain how much.
In a certain sense, India are used to playing ODIs without him. He has missed 29 out of the last 50 ODI matches that India played and his policy of picking and choosing, while not liked by many, has ensured that India are at least in some way prepared to face life after him.
It’s not the same for Test cricket, but we’ll save that argument for another day. But still what aspects of Tendulkar will be missed by India the most?
Senior cricket writer Ayaz Memon believes that they’ll miss his presence the most.
“They’ll miss him not just because of his batting. They’ll miss his presence in the dressing room the most and it’s not just because he is a cult figure. Sometimes people overlook the value of a high class player — he may make a small input but it could make a big impact on the game,” said Ayaz. “And his presence was so reassuring… right up to the 2011 World Cup. We all know that after that he hasn’t been the same player.”
“The other thing that will happen is that the onus will be on the other cricketers. Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh — they will all have to produce the goods.”
“Also, it’s great to see the gauntlet being thrown at the younger members of the team. After the World Cup, Virat Kohli has said: ‘This man has done so much for us, so we owe it to him.’ But I also think the Indian team owes it to Sachin to continue performing well without him too.”
Watch Ayaz Memon and Ashish Magotra discuss Tendulkar’s retirement and the India-Pakistan series in greater detail in the video above.