x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

'Grandpa' Tendulkar is not quitting yet

The longest-serving Indian is not thinking of retiring as India reach the top of the world and the player admits that this is the best side that he played with.

Tendulkar shares a laugh with Sanath Jayasuriya at the Brabourne Stadium.
Tendulkar shares a laugh with Sanath Jayasuriya at the Brabourne Stadium.

Sachin Tendulkar refuses to be coaxed into retirement before he is good and ready, no matter how much teasing he gets from his young batting colleague, Yuvraj Singh, about his age. If he did quit now, the Mumbai master would be bowing out at the very top, after his India side reached the summit of the Test world for the first time in his 20 year-international career yesterday.

The Indians became only the third side, after Australia and South Africa, to have the No 1 mantle since the ICC introduced official rankings in 2001, following their crushing innings win over Sri Lanka. "I have told Yuvraj Singh not to call me Grandpa," said Tendulkar, 36, who has played 162 Tests after debuting aged 16. "I have lots of names for him too. "I would not hesitate to say that this is the best team I have ever played with.

"If you look at the batting line up, right from the No 1 batsman to the No 7 batsman, which is MS Dhoni spot, it's a solid line up. "I've enjoyed playing the game and although a lot of people have been asking me about retirement, I haven't thought about it at all. I will continue to play as long as I enjoy the game." India's ascent is a remarkable feat given that they are often accused of favouring the limited-overs formats over cricket's longest form.

With only two Tests scheduled for the next 11 months at present, they are likely to lose their title sooner or later. South Africa, the team they usurped at the summit, are playing England in a three Test series, starting on December 16. "It is a bit of concern," said Dhoni. "It will be tough for us to maintain this position, but at the same time we have done something remarkable so we would rather celebrate it than thinking what next or what we should be doing."

pradley@thenational.ae