19 September, 2020

A Leader Who Can Steel Hearts

The selectors need to let Tendulkar rebuild a team—and there is ample talent

A Leader Who Can Steel Hearts

IN the past one year, Sachin Tendulkar has ceased to be coy. Earlier he would hum and haw when asked if he was prepared for the captaincy. Now, his statements may be camouflaged in diplomatic niceties but the ambition is unconcealed. "I'm ready when the Board and the selectors are ready. My time will come." His time, in fact, may be already on its way.

Mohammed Azharuddin finds himself sinking in the mire of poor form and failure, and a love saga may have enthralled the nation, but has clearly distracted him from cricket. There is worse. Rebellious teammates have questioned his authority and acumen, one (Prabhakar) retiring prematurely and the other (Sidhu) sensationally deserting the team on tour.

As vice-captain, Tendulkar is the logical successor, and if there still are doubts, these have less to do with his credentials and largely with the current state of Indian cricket. Tendulkar is indisputably India's best player today. He is both inspiration and pivot. When he clicks, the team coasts; when he fails, the side...



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