: Pakistani great Hanif Mohammad said he was surprised by the way Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from ODIs a day ahead of the India-Pakistan series.

Hanif, who once held the world record for the highest Test score (337 against the West Indies in 1957-58), said Tendulkar’s retirement was a wrong decision.

“Sachin’s retirement has affected the team badly. Sachin announcing his retirement just a day before the commencement of the Indo-Pak series surprised many, including me. It was a wrong decision,” said the 78-year-old at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Saturday.

“There was something which prompted him to announce his retirement from ODI cricket. But we do not know the circumstances. “The timing of his decision was not correct."

Hanif, who made his debut against India at the Kotla in 1952, expressed his admiration for the Indian legend. “Whatever Sachin has achieved on the cricket field is remarkable. For many, Bradman is the greatest ever. But for me, Tendulkar is even a step ahead of Sir Don in terms of cricketing achievements.”

Backs Dhoni

Speaking on the poor form of the Indian team, Hanif backed captain M.S. Dhoni.

“Dhoni, as a captain, has done a lot for Indian cricket. He has also improved as a batsman. There is nothing wrong with his captaincy. It is a different thing that the team is losing.

“The Indian team is currently going through a bad phase and they will soon overcome it,” said Hanif.

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