It was interesting to read Manjrekar’s analysis of Tendulkar’s mindset. Firstly, one must congratulate Manjrekar for taking on and criticising India’s leading cricket icon. On the other hand, his analysis makes little sense! He wants Tendulkar to play even when he is not fully fit? He is complaining that Tendulkar wants to play only when he is 100% fit! He is finding fault with Tendulkar for not playing the Super Series. He says Tendulkar is afraid to fail!
None of these make any sense. It riduculous to even suggest that senior players should play even when they are not fully fit! If senior players start doing this, then automatically the junior ones will follow! In fact, given the amount of cricket there is these days, its a smart thing to pick the games and series to feature in. You just increase your longevity in the game by this approach. Sachin should be commended for conserving himself for the big games. The cricketing world would love to see Tendulkar in the next world cup rather than in a “brain dead idea” of a Super Test Series. Lara played that Test and was a dismal failure. I would much rather see brand name players score everytime they go out into the middle than see them struggle!
When is the last time an India player quit the game when he was on top? (Sunil Gavaskar, and that was 15+ years back). These days there is way too much money in the game and the tendency is to grab every opportunity so as not to loose out on the big bucks. In other words, its very tempting not to say “no”. Most Indian cricketers are eventually booted out (Ganguly, Kapil Dev etc.). But Tendulkar has done a very smart thing by not being drawn into every single match. Knowing when to quit is almost a super human ability. Rather than over expose himself and then eventually become a fading Indian legend, he has thought through (I suspect) is current state and realized that its best to conserve than get burnt out. The reality about Tendulkar is that he is still relatively young, but has already played for 16+ years. By picking his games he is trying his best to ensure that he lasts longer and gives the world top notch quality at the expense of quantity.
Tendulkar taking frequent breaks opens up opportunities for youngsters. If Tendulkar had continued to play we would never have known the abilities of Robin Uthappa, Venu, Raina and the like.
Lastly, he says Tendulkar is afraid to fail. Of course! As a sportsperson you better be afraid of failure simply because failure is what brings about the end of ones career!
Manjrekar might be one of the better TV commentators, but this one he completely misread!