New Delhi, (IANS): Rahul Dravid says his long-time India team-mate Sachin Tendulkar was comfortable with the decision on his retirement and must have known "he can't carry on" longer after a 24-year international career.
"You knew that it was going to happen sooner rather than later. There were indications that he would finish it but he would finish that with the West Indies tour, I did not get that inkling," said Dravid.
Tendulkar's 200th Test will be in Mumbai
"It wouldn't have been easy for him. He must have known from his heart. He had gone by what his heart told him. You take a lot of advice from family, people who are close to you," Dravid was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo after it was announced on Thursday that Tendulkar will hang up his boots following his 200th Test next month.
"In the end, it's your call and it's been Sachin's call. I was just speaking to him and he seemed comfortable with the decision he made. It's hard to explain these things like how you arrived at such decisions."
"It's just that you feel like that the time is right for you. Sometimes you take a little bit longer to confirm your feelings deep down. Ensure that it's not an emotional decision which you have made. Once you know, then it becomes easier for you."
"You know you don't have that same energy and drive to keep going. Someone, who has played with the passion that he has, the energy that he has, he would have known that he can't carry on," said Dravid, who retired from international cricket in March.
It was only last Sunday when Dravid and Tendulkar played their last match in coloured clothing as they faced each other in the Champions League T20 final. Tendulkar, playing for the Mumbai Indians, had the last laugh with his team winning the trophy for the second time.
"It's been a great career, a great opportunity for him and for the whole of India... these two matches to recognise what he has done. I think it's a great time for him to go, in a sense the 200th Test match. It's a great occasion for him playing in his 200th Test, probably in Mumbai and in front of his home crowd. It's fantastic for him," Dravid said reflecting further on his teammate's glorious career.
'The Wall' reckoned Tendulkar's absence in the Indian dressing room will be a great loss for the youngsters.
"A young cricketer will lose the inspiration. He loses the opportunity to share a dressing room with Tendulkar, a living legend. It was for me, I was seven years junior to him as a player and just getting into the dressing room and putting your kit bag next to Sachin meant something. It was an inspiration in some level," said Dravid recalling his debut series in England in 1996.
"Sachin was always approachable. He would make you feel extremely comfortable. If he would have carried on as a superstar, no one would have been able to stop him in the Indian dressing room. He is a superstar, no doubt about it," summed up the batting great about another.