England’s bowlers have inflicted a torrid series on Sachin Tendulkar and this has led to many greats of the game calling for the Little Master to finally hang up his bat.
Another failure with the bat in the fourth and final Test of England’s tour to India could well prove Tendulkar’s last with his powers clearly on the wane aged 39. He’s currently priced at 9/2 to be India’s top runscorer in the first innings in Nagpur but, based on current form, this bet represents awful value.
Ex-India captain Sourav Ganguly is the latest high-profile former player to voice his opinion that the sun has set on the great man’s career, stating: “Tendulkar is not performing and I think if I were Tendulkar, I would go (retire).”
His achievements in the game cannot be argued against. He’s hit over 100 tons in both Test and ODI cricket and has chalked up 15,638 runs in 193 matches in the longest form of the game.
In addition to this, he currently boasts an incredible average of 54.68 across those games.
Aside from a 76 in the previous Test, his recent scores make for damning reading. Two eights, a five and a 13 were his other knocks in the series and this includes a match in which his side won by nine wickets.
England’s spinners have caused the Little Master all kinds of problems during the series; both Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann have both got him out twice each.
The fact that he is frequently falling to the slower bowlers on the Indian tracks is not the end of the world, but the manner of his dismissals is what is causing such a commotion; the Tendulkar of old would not be out-foxed as cheaply as he has been by a resurgent England attack.
Cheteshwar Pujara’s brilliance with the bat has been one of the few positives that the hosts can take out of the first three Tests and his obvious talent means India’s top order will be in safe hands once Tendulkar does turn his back on the game. This could prove sooner rather than later should he fail to inspire in the fourth Test.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date