'Sachin shouldn't wait for too long to decide his ODI career'
Former Australian fast bowler Geoff Lawson feels Sachin Tendulkar has got the right to decide when to quit one-day cricket, but says he should not wait too long, as otherwise, the criticism will grow.
"In Tests (in Australia), I thought he played the second best after (Virat) Kohli, who probably played the best. Looked to me he (Tendulkar) was in pretty good form in the Tests," Lawson said.
"But I wonder whether he is playing the one-dayers for the right reason? Was his heart and mind in it? Is he playing for the 100th hundred or for India? That's what he will have to ask himself," he added.
"He is one of the greatest players of all-time and he has gained the respect that he can take his own decision, but if he waits too long someone (like Kapil Dev) would not like it," said Lawson, when asked for his reaction to the former India captain's view that Tendulkar should have quit one-day cricket after India's triumph in the World Cup last year.
The 54-year-old New South Welshman was talking to the reporters on the sidelines of the release of Indian-origin Lisa Sthalekar's autobiography, Shaker, here last night.
The veteran of 180 Test wickets, conceded he was surprised by the dismal Indian show in the Test series Down Under.
"Yes, I was surprised. First Test was very close, India were a bit unlucky. Umesh Yadav bowled well. Ishant was a bit unlucky. After that the bowling fell away. I thought the bowling was getting better but Zaheer got injured again."
The former Pakistan national coach felt that Sharma was bowling a little bit on the shorter side.
"Ishant was bowling the wrong length, an Indian length on Australian wickets. All the Australian bowlers were getting wickets when they pitched (the ball) up. He was bowling with lot of heart, he was making the effort, but to me the length was a bit wrong in the Tests," Lawson pointed out.
He was full of praise for Kohli's display and his on-field attitude Down Under, but could not say much about his leadership skills.
"I like him as a batsman. He has got talent, got quick hands, good feet (movement). He stood up to the Australians and did well on those bouncy pitches. He played well on front foot and back foot. I don't know much about him as a leader. (It's) very hard for me to comment (on his elevation as vice captain). I like his attitude. He does not back down," Lawson said.
Kohli has been elevated as the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team by the selectors for the upcoming Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
Lawson was, however, critical of the Indian batsmen's view that slow and low pitches should be prepared for the return series in October-November at home.
"They (Australian bowlers) have to adjust the length a little bit. It will be nice to get Indian pitches with a little bit of bounce. It was pretty disappointing to read that Indian batsmen want slow turning pitches (during home series against Australia).
"I always thought you have to improve your game and not try and give everyone back. Try and make some pitches with some bounce. They are doing the basics well and bowling the right line and length," the former speedster said.
He also hailed Pakistan's performance against England in the just-concluded Test series against England in the UAE.
"They played very well, England were coming off the winter but Pakistan were very well organised."