Former Pakistan captain and one of the finest batsmen to have stepped foot on a cricket pitch – Javed Miandad – spoke exclusively to cricketnirvana.com to congratulate Sachin Tendulkar on his fabulous achievement of surpassing Brian Lara as the leading run-getter in Test cricket. Miandad had more a few words for the little master
Who will end with more runs – Ricky Ponting or Sachin Tendulkar?
The Australians don’t play for records. They are professional and play for the team and
want to always do well and go out of the sport on a high. Ricky Ponting will have absolutely no intention of chasing Tendulkar’s record. He will play till he knows he can
contribute to the team and that’s all. He will not prolong his career for records. Tendulkar can afford to do that because nobody (selectors) have the right to question his place. You look at numerous examples of Australian cricketers, they never prolonged their careers.
Even most recently Gilchrist knew that it was his time to go. He could have easily stayed back to achieve some more records but he left the minute he knew he had to go.
He has reached the epitome now. What is your advice to Sachin Tendulkar?
My advice to Tendulkar is that he has already achieved enough in his career. There is nothing left for him to achieve. He must score a glorious hundred and bow out of the sport. He will get more satisfaction in passing on the torch or his place in the team to a youngster. That should give him more personal satisfaction than more records.
Has he played all along for the records?
We Asians have the tendency of playing for records. We all do that during the end of our careers. We just play for the world records even if we know we cannot perform. By doing all these things the career of a youngster is getting tarnished.
When does a cricketer know that it is time to go?
There are two main influencing factors behind a cricketer’s retirement – fear of not performing well or wanting to go out with your held high. In Tendulkar’s case I feel he has experienced both.
He has played with fear over the last few years and now against Australia he has touched the high. It is his call now. He has experienced it all. He should leave with immediate effect since he is on a high
But in contrary the bowling attacks around the world are so poor now that there is no fear of constant failures. Teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are playing at the top level and that certainly helps players get even more records.
Why do you feel it is time for Tendulkar?
If you look at his game and performance over the last two years, he has clearly been troubled and hasn’t looked like the player we all know. There was a time when he could do it all but over the last few years he has been sceptical with his game. He has played with a fear sometimes and has not dominated the bowlers.
I feel Sachin is a once in a lifetime player – a true genius, a legend. Champions like him don’t deserve to suffer and get scrutinised by the media. He should score a hundred and go out a high. The respect that he already has will go up by notches in the cricketing fraternity.
You have played alongside both of them. Who is greater – Tendulkar or Gavaskar?
You cannot compare Sachin Tendulkar to Sunil Gavaskar because the environment in which Gavaskar played was completely different. Those days every bowler was such a terrorizing sight. Today Tendulkar doesn’t have to fear such bowlers. The quality in the game has dipped phenomenally.
Tendulkar wouldn’t have made even seventy percent of the runs he has made today if he had played in our days. Times have surely changed.
You are never short of words when it comes to criticising modern-day cricketers. What is your biggest issue with it?
The biggest problem in modern-day sports is the lack of knowledge. These youngsters feel they have arrived and the older guys are not willing to leave for their sake. It is a bitter scenario to be in. Honestly, I am quite satisfied that I am not playing in today’s era.
There are selectors who are selecting national squads without facing a single noteworthy delivery in their life. Who are they to make assessments about a cricketer? These guys are just power-hungry and have no say when it comes to a national team.