Sachin Tendulkar is set for his Twenty20 swansong, he will bid farewell with the Champions League outing with the Mumbai Indians. It is nostalgia time again, as it was when he quit ODIs last year, and called time on his IPL career.
Tendulkar, an old school Test cricketer, is the first to admit that T20 is just a gimmick.
“When it comes to basics, it’s more important in Test cricket. In T20s, it doesn’t matter… you just need to swing your bat. So I can spot a talent based on those factors,” he said during a function in Bangalore recently.
Thus, the “we want to win it for Tendulkar” chorus from teammates seems to be aimed more at getting personal mileage. And knowing Tendulkar, one can rest assured he doesn’t appreciate it.
Bishan Singh Bedi, former India captain, agrees. “Nobody can question his greatness. But if youngsters feel they can jump on the Tendulkar bandwagon, and benefit from it, good luck to them.
“Somewhere down the road, these youngsters need to realise that they need to start winning for themselves. Sachin shouldn’t be an excuse for winning or wanting to win,” Bedi told Hindustan Times.
“All I can tell youngsters is, stop clinging onto Sachin for everything. Carve your own legacy.”
There are two theories for this flattery. Some are genuinely in awe of the champion cricketer, and hope to squeeze out whatever they can in terms of reflected glory. The others are yes-men who want to benefit by singing Tendulkar’s paeans.
Bedi feels Tendulkar too is sick of this contrived spotlight. “Knowing him, I can say he hates everything that is made out to be about him. He wants to be left alone and treated normally.”
The former spin great feels sorry for Arjun. “It’s crazy how much publicity his son is already receiving. It is detrimental for his career. This is why Don Bradman’s son changed his surname.”
While his impending exit from Tests will surely be much bigger, Tendulkar’s T20 farewell appears more a prop to sell Champions League to a worldwide audience considering that he wasn’t even a part of the XI that won the IPL final. He was injured.