Sachin Tendulkar's ODI retirement surprising: Hanif Mohammad

Former Pakistan batsman Hanif Mohammad feels Sachin Tendulkar could have played for few more years of limited overs cricket  © Getty Images

By Sabi Hussain

New Delhi: Jan 5, 2013
Legendary Pakistan batsman Hanif Mohammad feels that Sachin Tendulkar is “a step ahead of Don Bradman” when it comes to batsmanship.

“Whatever Sachin has achieved on cricket field is remarkable. For many, Bradman is the greatest to have ever graced the cricket field but for me Tendulkar is even a step ahead of Sir Don in terms of cricketing achievements,” Hanif told mediapersons here today.

Hanif, who once held the world record for highest score in Tests, is however not happy about the timing of Tendulkar’s retirement.

“Sachin’s retirement has affected the team badly. Sachin announcing his retirement just a day before the commencement of Indo-Pak series surprised many including me. It was a wrong decision,” 78-year-old Hanif, who had made his Test debut at the Kotla six decades back, stated.

Hanif feels that something must be wrong although he is unawareas to what prompted Tendulkar to take such a decision.

“There was something which prompted him to announce his retirement from the ODI cricket but we don’t know what were the circumstances. The timing of his decision was not correct.”

Hanif, who is one of the four brothers, who has played Test cricket for Pakistan, also defender India’s under-fire skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“Dhoni as a captain has done a lot for Indian cricket. He has also improved as a batsman. There is nothing wrong in his captaincy. It’s a different thing that team is losing the matches. Winning and losing is part of the game,” he said.

Hanif picked Pakistan’s bowling attack as a main difference between the two sides.

“Our team has a good combination. We have a good bowling attack and the team has also clicked as a batting unit. The team spirit is quite evident when the players take the field.

Our bowling attack has performed to the level,” he said.

Asked why India have failed to produce world-class bowlers like Pakistan, he said, “Don’t forget about Mohammad Nisar and Kapil Dev. India has produced these bowlers. The Indian team is currently going through a bad phase and they will soon overcome it.”

Hanif also rubbished suggestions that the IPL has affected the quality of the game.

“In IPL also, you play 20 overs. It’s like a practice game for you. The reason being a lot of cricket is being played these days. A human being is playing the game non-stop.

If you use a machine non-stop, the efficiency will be less.

Same is with the players. If they keep on playing continously without any break, it will certainly affect their performances.”

“The lure of money is also attracting the players,” he said.

Hanif also grew nostalgic about the Kotla ground after watching Pakistan team practices for the third and final one-dayer of the three-match series.

“In 1952, I came here with the team and played my first international match at this ground. I have again come to this part of the nation where I debuted and played the first offficial Test between the two country.

“I am really feeling happy. It’s good that both the nations are playing cricket. Cricket improved a lot as time progressed. We used to play for fun but now you can see the fierce rivalry between the teams. Everything has changed for good,” the affable old man concluded.