Sachin Tendulkar has decided to opt out of the ODI series against Sri Lanka. Fair enough. If he wants to spend time with his family or wants to be at Wimbledon, that’s his choice. If the selectors feel that he has earned the right to decide when to play and when to sit out and want to keep humouring him, they are stupid, but we can’t do anything about it. And if Sehwag feels that “as Sachin is 39-years old, he should be given the right to choose when he wants to play”, he is entitled to his senseless views. We can only pity him.
It is only when this routine decision is given a different spin and made out to be a selfless and noble act, it gets my goat.
Here is Sachin as quoted in TOI:
"You know if it is an individual sport you have various things to think of, if you are not in right frame of mind you know it doesn't affect your team, you are individual there but being part of team sport you have got to be absolutely on top of your game and especially when you represent your country then all these things are extremely important.”
So, if we are to believe his pious, sugary statement, he dropped out in the larger interest of the team, beloved country and Bharat Mata.
What he conveniently glosses over is that his constant flitting in and out of the team means that someone like Gambhir has to keep unsettling himself by changing his batting position ( from opening to No.3 and back) just to suit the whims and pleasure of one individual. This could have an adverse impact on the team. If I were selector, I would rather invest on Gambhir ( as he has the potential to contribute for many more years) and ensure that he is not disturbed, rather than pander to the whims of a 39-year old batsman who has had a glorious past, but who wants to hang on forever on his own terms.