MS Dhoni’s ‘public’ remark on legend like Tendulkar seems like a childish act

Sachin Tendulkar, despite sudden dip in run- making, looks a man in form, reads an article in Hindustan Times, adding that the Master Blaster was India's best batsman in the first two Tests Down Under. The article further reads that in living memory, this is perhaps the first time an India captain has questioned Tendulkar's place in the team. Implied in Dhoni's comment is his belief that it is not possible for him to accommodate the two (Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar) - Gautam Gambhir is peripheral to the issue -at the same time in the squad.

“Sehwag chose to retaliate, but spare a thought for Tendulkar and what must be going through his mind! He, to the surprise of many, decided to make himself available for the one-day series, and once in the team, not to pick him in the playing X1 is the most audacious decision any captain could take. That Dhoni did exactly this and went on to question his utility in public seems a childish act, something which a captain should not be doing for any member of the team, least of all the greatest of them all,” reads the article.

“Unlike Sehwag, who used the opportunity of a press conference to air his point of view, Tendulkar keeps his own council, avoids making unnecessary comments, the reason why he has so far been untouched by controversy. It is a trait which has earned him worldwide respect and even though he will never speak, it is not hard to imagine what he must be feeling at being an “unwanted guest“ in his abode,” says the article.

Meanwhile, former Australian batsman Dean Jones says that Sachin Tendulkar looked tired of One-Day cricket but no selector has the courage to tell him to retire from the 50-over format, says a report in The Indian Express. "Time waits for no one, including cricketing greats Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar. Both players are looking tired of the 50-over format of the game and this week enough was enough for the Australian selectors, who dropped Ponting from the one-day squad," Jones said.

Sri Lanka in the meantime threw India's prospects of a berth in the tri-series finals into jeopardy with a thrilling three-wicket victory over Australia which pushed them to the top of the points table on Friday. Chasing Australia's 280 for six built around Peter Forrest's maiden ODI century, the islanders overhauled the target with four balls to spare in a match which went down the wire. Sri Lanka now top the table with 15 points from six games, one point more than second-placed Australia. Sri Lanka's win on Friday, their third on the trot in the tournament, left India (10 points from six matches) with the arduous task of winning both the remaining matches to make it to the final.

Other news (TOI, HT, The Tribune, Indian Express)

Gul steers Pakistan to win: Paceman Umar Gul took 3-18 to inspire Pakistan to a thrilling eight-run win in the first of three Twenty20 against England here. England, were cruising at 120-4 after 17 overs, chasing 145 to win, but Gul took two wickets in the 18th over for just three runs to change the complexion of the game, eventually restricting England to 136-6.