New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar's prolonged form slump may have raised questions on his retirement but West Indies batting legend Sir Vivian Richards reckons the veteran batsman is still a "class act" and should not be pressured into calling time on his career.
"When Sachin wants to retire is his call. It's completely an individual call. He alone should decide. I would never dare to walk up to Sachin and tell him that 'You go tomorrow'," Richards said.
"Everyone knows that I am a fan of Sachin. He is still a class-act and doesn't look out of place even in T20's which is a modern day game. Let him go to 50 and I would still like to watch him," Richards, who is in an advisory role with Delhi Daredevils team, told reporters here on Thursday.
Richards felt that the meticulous approach with which Tendulkar prepares for a match is an indicator about his passion for the game and something that youngsters can learn from.
"Having Sachin is a wonderful indicator about how one prepares for a match," he said.
The veteran of 121 Tests also said that Virender Sehwag still has a lot to offer to Indian cricket and should take cue from Chris Gayle's batting approach.
"We all know that Sehwag is a magnificent player. What has happened to him can happen to the best players but I will always have him in my team," he pointed out.
"Viru can take a cue from Gayle's approach. When I mean you bluff the opposition, it's about changing your approach a little bit. Gayle loves to hit sixes from the first ball but there are times when he waits for a certain period of time before attacking.
"I want Viru to do that. Take a few singles and stay there. Because when players like Gayle and Sehwag stay for a longer period of time, the bowling side starts sweating a little," Richards explained.
"It's like driving. When you see the red light, you have got to stop and wait. Again when you see the green light, you set your foot on the pedal and accelerate", Richards pointed out.
The Delhi Daredevils' IPL has been disastrous but Richards said that he has come to "keep the hopes alive."
"They (Daredevils) did very well last year and just because they have lost doesn't make them a bad team overnight. If they work collectively, better days are sure to come," he said.
The 61-year-old Antiguan believes that one needs to look at the bigger picture about how results can change in sports over a period of time.
"Look at Barcelona and Real Madrid. Such great teams taking a hiding in the Champions League semi-finals regardless of the quality of players they have. But they need to continue to keep up the faith and show a 'never-say-die' attitude."
When questioned whether Gayle's technique of "stand and hit" will mark an end to all coaching manuals which talk about footwork and shoulder positions, he said "I doubt Chris plays like this in Tests".
"You have to realise that each format now has a different requirement. I am very happy to see the way modern day cricket has evolved in the era of T20s. I wouldn't like to get into comparisons as to how I would have fared. I guess, everyone nowadays fancies their chances when you have 65-yard boundaries."
Asked what would have been his batting position in T20 cricket, opening or No 4, he replied, "I guess when you play a fast and furious game like T20, you expect to face as many deliveries as possible. You need enough time to compete. I guess the best batsmen should play most of the bowling."
Story first published on: Thursday, 25 April 2013 16:45 IST