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The best of Sachin is gone: Kapil Dev
June 21, 2005 16:00 IST
Joining the debate whether Sachin Tendulkar is past his prime, legendary cricketer and former captain Kapil Dev said the best days of the batting maestro are behind him.
"His youth is not coming back as he is 32 years old and his best is gone," the former India all-rounder told reporters in Chandigarh on Tuesday, on the sidelines of a blood donation function organised by the Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre.
Asked if there is pressure on Tendulkar to perform, Kapil said "there is always pressure on a big player, that is why he is such a big player. I think he should stand up to the occasion and say 'I will perform'."
He said the expectations on Tendulkar are always too much.
To a query whether Tendulkar's career had come to a stage where he should call it a day, Kapil said it is for the player to decide.
"He is too great a player. If he is an honest player, which I believe, he is then I think will take this decision by himself," he said.
"I wouldn't like somebody pushing him out. Whenever he calls it a day, may be two years or five years from now, he should go with grace and we should love him for that."
Kapil declined to make comments on the batting form of Sourav Ganguly, saying it is the lookout of the national selectors and the coach.
"They should do things keeping the interest of the country in mind," Kapil said, evading a direct reply on whether Ganguly should continue to lead the team or not.
Asked if the Indian team should have a regular bowling coach, Kapil, who had 434 Test wickets to his credit, said, "if anything helps the country that must be done."
He, however, did not state his own preference in this regard.
He said the BCCI must know if there is a requirement for this or not.
"If the Cricket Board does not know how to do their job then I am sorry."
Kapil said the new coach Greg Chappell must be given time to settle down.
"Now that he [Chappell] has been selected it would only be fair to give him some time to settle. Give him three months and may be then we can say, but at the moment he should be backed and given support."
On the injury concerns of several fast bowlers, Kapil, who enjoyed a long and injury-free career as a medium pacer, said: "if they discuss it with me, may be I can help."
"A cricketer should know his body and work accordingly. If I say what suits me should be applied on him as well won't be a correct thing to say. There are always different requirements for every player and they should work accordingly," he said.
Kapil did not agree that the current lot of fast bowlers in the Indian team was playing lot of cricket, mainly one-dayers.
"I don't think they are overplaying. It is a profession they have willingly taken up.
"As reporters will you stop writing after few months just because you have done lot of stories? The answer would be no because you have chosen this profession on your own free will."
He said if at any stage a pacer feels that he is tired than he should say it clearly.
Commenting on Australia's recent performance in England, Kapil said he is amazed to see them losing to Bangladesh in a one-day match of the NatWest series.
"They have been dominating the scene for the past 10-12 years. I think they are still a very good team though their loss to Bangladesh was amazing".