Both Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting are superb players. Both batsmen enjoy a lot of support from fans and backing from former players. One however is likely to get a chance to say when he retires while the other may be told that his time on the field is over.
New Delhi: About 2000 Test runs and 10 Test hundreds separate Sachin Tendulkar from Ricky Ponting. But they have locked horn in several battles over the last 17 years to be the world's best, in the race of hundreds and many more. Though Ricky Ponting came six years after Sachin, it now seems both will walk into sunset together. The question though is who decides to go first?
Sachin Tendulkar has looked like a shadow of himself in the series against England. It however is not just in this series. The Master Blaster has been struggling in Tests over the last 12 months.
In his last 8 matches he has scored just 379 runs with no centuries. Infact, his last 10 innings have seen him make just 153 runs at an average of 15.3. However nobody is prepared to tell sachin that its time to go. The 39 year old instead has the support of former players and the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
NDTV's Cricket Expert Sunil Gavaskar says, "I believe with the kind of contribution Sachin has made towards indian cricket, if he goes through one season without scoring runs, picking on him and saying should he retire is a little bit unfair". IPL Chairman Rajeev Shulka echoes his words, "Sachin knows when to hang his boots"
Down Under, Sachin's contemporary Ricky Ponting also seems to be in the same boat. The 38 year old Aussie though has the numbers backing him.
In the last year he has scored 809 runs from 11 tests at a great average of 47.58. But it's his last 9 innings that have put Punter under pressure. He has managed just 166 runs at an average of under 19.
And the fact that Ponting knows the pressure is back on him is clear from this quote to Channel Nine.
"I'm a realist. I live in the real world and I know that if I'm not getting runs there's no chance at all of playing the Ashes."
However Ponting, just like Sachin, has the backing of former Aussie players. In an exclusive chat with NDTV, former Australian batsman Dean Jones says, "He'll know when to go and he doesn't feel that he should go yet. Two things will happen, he will either go and play in England next year or he is a few Tests away. Hobart will be his last."
Sachin on the other hand, will surely get to choose his last game.
Sunil Gavaskar says, "Our cricketing culture is different from the Australian cricketing culture or the South African cricketing culture. We respect the senior players. We do not want to push them out, we want to give them a graceful exit."
While the fans also might want a graceful exit for both Masters, the question everyone is asking is, who will go first?
|This Boris is no Becker Mayor of London Boris Johnson takes to the tennis court, with hilarious results.|
|Wedding bells for Sreesanth! The 30-year-old is set to marry a girl from Jaipur, who belongs to a royal family.|
|Harbhajan turns counselor for stranded tourists Bhajji met a number of pilgrims hit by incessant rains and floods.|
|Smile Train patient to flip coin at Wimbledon Pinki Sonkar has been chosen to toss the coin ahead of the marquee match on July 7.|
|Ferguson's first team sheet for sale The hand-written team sheet from November 8, 1986 is to be sold on behalf of an Oxford United fan.|