Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Kapil Dev negative on Sachin

The last World Cup broke a number of reputations. While the dismal performance of the Indian team turned away a number of people (including me) from being cricket fans to not being so interested in cricket, it also broke a number of taboos. The prime one was the breaking of the taboo of not criticizing Sachin. Sachin Tendulkar has been the god-like figure of the Indian cricket for the last decade and more, and without doubt, he has a been like a colossus on the Indian cricket scene. But, given the injuries that he has been facing, and the general slow-down in his performance has been noticed and commented upon a lot. In fact, his performance and public acclaim has been reduced to the extent that former cricketers such as Atul Wassan and Maninder Singh, not batsmen of any acclaim, have criticized Tendulkar as part of their job of commenting.
Over a period of time, even though Sachin was setting an incredible number of batting records, there were people who were carping about his abilities. And in the past 5 years, the criticism has only grown. He has been accused of not actually being able to deliver wins to India, and failing when he is most needed. And the latest person to make this accusation is none other than another great from Indian cricket, Kapil Dev:

"Every time people hope big things from Sachin Tendulkar but often it is only disappointment that we are left with. He is thought to be the backbone of the Indian team but many times he has not stood up to the ocassion," he said.
"Figures say that Sachin has not been able to perform uunder pressure. This will remain a blot in his career," Kapil Dev said.
"Sachin has big records to his name but until he wins matches for India in these conditions, people will raise fingers at him," Kapil said.

I can agree with Kapil to some extent. For a generation, Sachin has provided inspiration, but greats need to know when to gracefully bow out. After all, new blood can only come in when old blood makes its way out; even if that means admitting that a great has faded and should maybe make his exit rather than reach a stage where people ask for him to go out.
Of course, people will have multiple opinions on this, including ascribing ulterior motives to Kapil Dev for his utterances. After all, he is now trying to get people to join an alternative cricket league, and one way to do that is to create controversies.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 9:38 AM