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“He has left a legacy in the dressing room”
Legendary India batsman Rahul Dravid believes Sachin Tendulkar “would have listened to his heart” before announcing that he would retire after his 200th Test match, which is set to come against the West Indies in his hometown of Mumbai next month.
Tendulkar’s retirement has been a hot topic for many months now as the ‘Little Master’ has failed to score a Test century since smashing a magnificent 146 against South Africa in Cape Town in January 2011.
“There were indications that he would finish, but that he would end with the Tests against the West Indies, I had no inkling,” Dravid told ESPNcricinfo.
Dravid attributes Tendulkar’s century drought to his age and acknowledged that it becomes harder to stay out at the crease for long periods of time when a batsman becomes older.
“For someone who is 40, you would expect him to walk away,” Dravid said. “He said in his letter (to the BCCI) that he lived cricket and I think the 200th Test will be the perfect time to leave. It’s difficult to give up what you do all your life but he would have listened to his heart and Sachin seems comfortable with it. It’s difficult to say how you arrive at these decisions, but just that you feel the timing is right.”
Former India captain Ravi Shastri recently noted that he wanted to see Tendulkar in action when the national team travel to England in June next year, but Dravid stated that the ‘Little Master’ had made the right decision by calling it quits.
“There is no end to such things like facing a Steyn-Morkel or an Anderson-Swann for the last time,” Dravid said. “Things don’t work like that. When your heart is not ready for anything, when your passion and energy is not up to it, then it becomes tough. Sachin obviously listened to his heart.”
Dravid also noted that Tendulkar’s presence in the team dressing room would be missed.
“With Tendulkar, you lose an inspiration, the opportunity to share a dressing room with a living legend,” he said. “Getting into the dressing room with Tendulkar and putting your kit bag next to Sachin’s meant something. He has left a legacy in the dressing room and there are those 19-20-year olds now in the team who will play for another 10-12 years and carry that legacy forward. That will be the best way to pay your tribute to him.”