Home > Features >

India-England second Test: Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell international appearance on his home ground?

Will the Mumbai Test be Sachin Tendulkar's farewell appearance for India on his home ground?

April 2011: Sachin Tendulkar his chaired by team-mates after India’s unforgettable win in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium. Could November 2012 be the final hurrah on his home ground at Wankhede? © Getty Images

Will the second Test against England at the Wankhede Stadium turn out to be Sachin Tendulkar’s final appearance on his home ground? That is a question not many cricket enthusiasts in Mumbai would be willing to answer as their favourite hero is in the twilight of his career. At the age of 39, Tendulkar doesn’t have much cricket left in him and a Test or a One-Day International (ODI) isn’t scheduled for Mumbai in the near future.

Tendulkar likes to play his cards close to his chest. But one got some inkling of what’s in his mind when he made a few numbing remarks last month by admitting that he isn’t going to last too long at the highest level and would assess the situation in November. He also indicated that he would take it series by series to determine his future in the game. These remarks came at the back of a lot of talk surrounding his apparently “slowing reflexes” after he was bowled on three consecutive occasions in the series against New Zealand.

Coming into the series against England, Tendulkar was under pressure. It was clear that he had to score runs to contribute to the team. Considering the retirements of his contemporaries Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, the heat was on Tendulkar as a string of failures wouldn’t have been tolerated.

Tendulkar announced his intentions by playing a Ranji Trophy game for Mumbai and smashing a hundred. International cricket is a different ball game, but that knock would have helped him find rhythm. In the first Test at Ahmedabad, Tendulkar looked positive as he was willing to take the attack to the bowlers. However, he played one shot too many and holed out to the deep when he was on 13. He thus arrives at his home venue with a desperate need to score runs.

A look at India’s schedule for the next two years shows that there aren’t many home series on the anvil. India is set to host Australia for four Tests in early 2013 and it is unlikely that any of them would be played in Mumbai. According to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Future Tours Programme (FTP), the Test tours lined up for India after Australia’s visit are to South Africa, New Zealand and England. India’s next Test assignment at home is against the West Indies in October 2014.

It’s not going to be easy for Tendulkar to be around in October 2014. He would be 41-years-old and the likes of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are expected to establish themselves by then. Having played cricket for 23 long years, Tendulkar’s body has experienced more wear and tear compared to any other international cricketer. He has played 191 Tests and 463 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in the said interval and one cannot expect him to extend it to a 25th year.

Wankhede may witness Tendulkar play for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but Test cricket is the real deal for the connoisseurs of the game. To watch the pride of their city play for the country in the classical format has its own charm – something an IPL encounter cannot match.

While Tendulkar has been playing Test cricket, his future in ODIs is uncertain. Having skipped many ODI assignments, it doesn’t look likely that he would feature in most in the coming year. None of the ODIs against England are in Mumbai. India’s next ODI series at home is against Australia in October 2013. Even if Mumbai is allotted a game, one can’t be sure if Tendulkar would play.

The last time Tendulkar played a Test at the Wankhede, he scored a brilliant 94 against the West Indies. It was built up as the occasion for his landmark 100th international ton, but he fell agonisingly short of the milestone. The crowd had flocked to the ground to watch him get the hundred, but were silenced when he edged to slip. A year down the line, the stage is set for him to make a big one in what could well be a farewell gift to his fellow Mumbaikars.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

Live Cricket Score India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Australia win by 4 wickets, take 2-0 lead in the series

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: Samuels and Chanderpaul rebuild for West Indies

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

Live Cricket Score: South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15, 1st Test at Centurion, Day 4

Live Scorecard: South Africa vs West Indies, 1st Test, Day 4, at Centurion

Live Streaming: South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 4, at Centurion

India vs Australia 2014-15 Day 4 Brisbane: Ishant Sharma disappointed over lack of vegetarian dish on menu at lunch

Australia beat India by 4 wickets in 2nd Test at Brisbane; take unassailable 2-0 series lead

Indian batsmen outdone by Australian bowlers and umpiring howlers

New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Marks out of 10 for Kiwis

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail tales

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail ought to take leaf out of Australian tail’s book

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India’s pathetic bowling performance, Mitchell Johnson’s onslaught and other highlights

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here