London: Sachin Tendulkar still has too much class to contemplate retirement from one-day cricket and the judgements being passed on his batting are erroneous and ignorant, says England great David Gower.

The 50-year-old former batsman-turned-commentator said Tendulkar looked more qualified to cope under pressure situations than his colleagues at the top of the order during the just concluded NatWest Series against England.

“There has been mention in the past few days that he might retire from one-day cricket, although he has made it clear that he is entertaining no such thoughts. And why should he,” Gower asked.

Dominant

“He has been as dominant as anyone in this NatWest Series, and when the pressure has been on, as was the case at the start on Saturday, he has looked more qualified to cope than his colleagues at the top of the order,” he wrote in The Sunday Times.

Gower also did not agree with the criticism hurled on Tendulkar’s batting.

“Some people have carped about his batting this summer. The main accusation is that he has lost some of his dominance over bowlers. They pointed to his dogged approach in that Test at Trent Bridge and suggested that the young, imperious Sachin might have made more of an effort to take control. To me such judgements are erroneous and ignorant,” he said. Gower in fact appreciated Tendulkar for adapting himself to perform in the changed circumstances.

“Some batsmen find it hard to change their method as the years progress. The realistic among them acknowledge that there are new ways one has to learn to make runs when one’s youthful vigour has departed,” Gower said.

Controlled batting

“That innings at Trent Bridge was a fine exhibition of controlled batting from a man who realised that his team needed one thing more than anything else, and that was for him to remain at the crease.

“That is exactly what he did until he and, more pertinently, the umpire misjudged a ball that the batsman left alone too close to the line of off stump. That innings oozed determination. It did not deserve to be cut short when a hundred beckoned,” Gower said.

“What was also important about that knock was that he had adapted to the conditions and needs of his team and played accordingly. That innings was enough to convince me that Tendulkar has it within him to continue for a while yet, even though we should not expect to see him back here in 2011, when India tour next,” he said.

But The Guardian described the Indian batsman as “mildly heroic” on his last tour of England.

“So Tendulkar faded gently away. He has been mildly heroic on this tour without playing one of his monumental innings. In the Tests, he batted like a mortal, grafting away, eking out his runs slowly and for the team...

“Even in this shorter form of the game, his mortality has been all too evident, not from the way he has batted but due to the onset of cramps to his fingers or legs. His body is starting to rebel. Sunil Gavaskar expressed the hope that Tendulkar would still be playing when the 2011 World Cup in Asia comes around. We all hope that but it is hard to envisage. He will be 38 then,” the report said. — PTI

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