Former India captain Rahul Dravid knew that the time for Sachin Tendulkar to draw curtains on his long and illustrious career was quite close but he had no inkling that the veteran would decide to call it quits with the home series against the West Indies next month.
“You knew that it was going to happen sooner rather than later. There were indications that he would finish it but he would finish that with the West Indies tour, I did not get that inkling,” said Dravid.
Tendulkar, regarded the greatest batsman in contemporary cricket, on Thursday called it quits from Test cricket, announcing that he would retire after his 200th match which would come against the West Indies, bringing the curtains down on an extraordinary career spanning a marathon 24 years.
Struggling with form for the last two years, the 40-year-old Tendulkar, who has scored a monumental 15,837 runs in 198 Tests at an average of 53.86, informed the BCCI about his decision to retire from Test cricket, putting an end to the intense speculation about his future.
Dravid said Tendulkar chose the perfect time to bid adieu to the game given that his last Test will be his 200th overall.
“It’s been a great career, a great opportunity for him and for the whole of India...these two matches to recognise what he has done. I think it’s a great time for him to go, in a sense the 200th Test match. It’s a great occasion for him playing in his 200th Test, probably in Mumbai and in front of his home crowd. It’s fantastic for him,” Dravid told ESPNCricinfo.
Dravid, who retired from the international cricket last year after amassing 13,288 runs in 164 Tests and another 10,889 in 344 one-day internationals, said it’s very hard to arrive at a decision like this and Tendulkar must have known from his heart.
“It wouldn’t have been easy for him. He must have known from his heart. He had gone by what his heart told him. You take a lot of advice from family, people who are close to you.
But in the end, it’s your call and it’s been Sachin’s call. I was just speaking to him and he seemed comfortable with the decision he made. It’s hard to explain these things like how you arrived at such decisions.”