Three famed cricket stars of yesteryears feel that Sachin Tendulkar still has much cricket left in him but needs to play his natural aggressive game to overcome the drought of runs from his blade.
While former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin says that Tendulkar was batting in too subdued a manner, South African great Barry Richards holds that the master blaster has tempered his game as he is conscious that the team needs him to stay for long in the middle.
Former Sri Lankan batsman Aravinda de Silva blamed the relentless media pressure for Tendulkar's recent below-par showings.
"I don't think Sachin Tendulkar is finished. The problem is he is not playing his natural game. He is too subdued," Azharuddin said at a promotional event of television channel Neo Sports in Kolkata.
Azhar, a veteran of 99 Tests, said he was unaware if it was Tendulkar's decision to cut down on strokemaking or whether the team management had given him such instructions.
"But I feel he should play aggressively. Aggression should be there in his mind," he said.
Richards, rated as one of the finest batting talents of the last century whose Test career was cut short due to his country's isolation during the apartheid era, said, "Sachin feels his role has changed. He and Dravid are the seniormost batsmen. So, Tendulkar feels that he has to be there in the middle to lay a solid base. That's why he has tempered his aggression." And, also with the team not succeeding, he is feeling the pressure like other members," he said.
Aravinda felt that India still needed Tendulkar for five more years.
"I think he has a few more years of big cricket left in him. It is the media pressure that has affected his performance in the last couple of years. He is still one of the best batsmen in the world," said the right-hander, who was adjudged Wisden's cricketer of the year in 1996.