Out-of-form players need rest, not Tendulkar

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Published: Monday, February 13, 2012, 11:24 [IST]
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Resting Sachin is not the right move

Was it right on India's part to rest Sachin Tendulkar for the Adelaide One Day International against Australia? It was not the right call and some of the experts are fuming over keeping the iconic batsman out of the playing XI.

Also read: Dhoni's 'very special six' wins it for India

Captain MS Dhoni saved himself from any more embarrassment after he took India to a close four-wicket victory at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday. However, what would have been the reaction if the team had lost without Tendulkar? May be Dhoni would have had to more music.

Former Indian captain turned commentator Ravi Shastri called the move to put Tendulkar on the bench as a "joke."

He said on TV before the start of the match: "It's a joke. You've never won a one-day game against Australia in Adelaide. He wants that 100th hundred. Let him get it and walk away. He's going to walk away from the one-day game soon... in one or two months. To hell with the rotation policy! You don't have to rotate Tendulkar at this stage of his career."

Australian broadcaster "Channel Nine" commentator and former England captain Tony Greig too was left fuming, calling it a "disgrace."

Both these cricketers were absolutely spot on when they disapproved such a move.

When most of India's batsmen have been struggling on tour, it is Tendulkar who has looked in good touch, be it in the Test series or the two games which he played in the tri-series. So what is the point in resting him ahead of some others who are not performing. He has had enough number of days to recuperate between the Tests and now since he was not part of the two Twenty20 Internationals.

Virender Sehwag was the first to be pulled out of the team as part of the rotation policy. And then it was Gautam Gambhir's turn and finally it was Tendulkar.

Dhoni had indicated that they would rotate only the top three batsman in order to accommodate the talented youngster Rohit Sharma. Fair point. But what about Sehwag's poor form. Why is he persisted with?

Suresh Raina too has been searching for runs. He found some sort of form in Adelaide scoring 38.

As Shastri pointed out on Sunday, Tendulkar won't be around in the ODI format and he wanted the team to have him in the XI so that he can get to his 100th international hundred which has become a huge burden. The pressure of his elusive ton is not only affecting the man himself but the entire team.

One wonders who were behind this rotation policy idea. Is it Dhoni alone, or coach Duncan Fletcher or whether Tendulkar was consulted on that or he was just asked to adhere to the team management's decision.

Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin, while facing the media before the Adelaide ODI, admitted ignorance to rotation policy.

Greig made a valid point that fans were the ultimate losers in this rotation business. He went on to say that "Channel Nine" and fans should receive financial compensation for resting Tendulkar.

Rotation policy is needed when the team is winning all the time and not when you are failing to find the right combination for a success. And you need rest when you are playing non-stop cricket. Tendulkar had returned to ODI scene for the first time since that World Cup final in April, 2011.

It is time the Indian team management puts this rotation policy between the top three into cold storage and pick players on form. That is the only way India can fancy their chances of winning the tri-series title after a disastrous Test series.


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