All through the Australia tour, Sachin Tendulkar has teased everyone with glimpses of his sublime form, but has failed to set the stage on fire. With the CB Series being his first ODI tournament since the triumphant World Cup campaign, his participation in the Asia Cup had been uncertain.
Now, opinion is divided over his selection. Former India player and coach Anshuman Gaekwad believes it was a perfect opportunity to give the youngsters a dash.
“I don't know if the selectors thought of Sachin's 100th century while having him in the team but he should have been given a break. The youngsters should have been given a chance keeping in mind the 2015 World Cup.”
Former Test opening batsman Chetan Chauhan felt it was mainly to give Tendulkar an opportunity to get the monkey off his back. “The selectors don't want to entirely change the team as the Asia Cup won't be a walkover. And maybe they want to give Tendulkar the opportunity to get his 100th century.
But former skipper Bishan Singh Bedi was baffled that Tendulkar was not left out. “If Sehwag has been rested, the same should rule also apply for Tendulkar. He should not be playing in the Australia ODIs in the first place.
“It's like treating a pedigree horse like a mule. If anyone should be played sparingly, it is Tendulkar.”Another former captain Ajit Wadekar felt if Tendulkar felt he was up to the task, there should not be any further debate. "We should leave it to Sachin to decide. He is frank enough to admit if he's not fit enough to play a particular tournament. And he looks in fine form apart from getting that hundred, which he should get quickly so that he regains his free flowing self."
Chauhan, who is vice-president of the Delhi association, was however surprised that senior batsman Gautam Gambhir had been sidelined by the selectors to promote Virat Kohli, the rising star.
“I guess they want to groom Virat, but I wish they had continued with Gautam. He is such a shrewd player and captain.”