Sachin Tendulkar is not hanging up his boots yet. The legend has informed the selectors that he is available for selection for the ODI series against Pakistan and England, which will help him prepare for the Test series against Australia.
Speculation about his retirement was rife following Tendulkar’s extended run of poor form. In the four Tests against England, he made only one half- century – 76 in the second Test in Kolkata.
Sources said Tendulkar has spoken to chief selector Sandeep Patil, making himself available for the two backto- back ODI series.
“Sachin Tendulkar will be available for the ODI series against Pakistan and England. He has spoken to chairman of selection committee Sandeep Patil on the issue,” a source told AAJ TAK. “As of now, Sachin will play in the ODIs before the Test series against Australia in February- March. The objective is to stay match- fit for the Test series. He hasn't thought beyond the Australia series yet,” he added.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said that a “performing” Tendulkar would be good for the morale of the team. “It is a good thing ( playing in ODIs). Let’s hope he performs and gets back to runs. A performing Tendulkar is good for the dressing room,” Ganguly said.
“Selectors cannot ask him to retire. That’s his decision and it has to be taken by Tendulkar himself. Let us leave him alone on that,” Ganguly said.
India would be playing three ODIs against Pakistan ( from December 30) and will face England in five ODIs, starting on January 11. Australia will tour India in February- March to play four Tests.
Tendulkar has been choosing his appearances in ODIs since the World Cup in an attempt to cut down on his workload and focus on the longer version of the game.
After struggling to score his milestone 100th international century during the Te series in Australia and England, Tendulkar decided to play in the trination ODI series Down Under, but could not end his drought there either.
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He finally achieved the record in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March against the home team, though India lost the match. His 100th international century came one year after his 99th.
However, it did not signal a purple patch for Tendulkar in the longer version. In the two Tests at home against New Zealand, he scored just 63 and was bowled on all three occasions.
That led critics to argue that his reflexes are slowing down with age.
Against England, Tendulkar made 112 runs in six innings. He had problems against James Anderson and Monty Panesar.