By BV Swagath
With just 11 more days to go for the Irani Trophy match, the big question is whether Sachin Tendulkar should play or not. Tendulkar had looked very ordinary in the 2-Test Series and was bowled through the gate not once but thrice. Since the series, the 39-year-old has been facing a lot of heat from several cricket pundits and fans calling for his retirement.
While the Test Series against the Kiwis showed that Tendulkar was on the brink of his last playing days, the Irani Trophy match could well prove whether he still has enough in the tank or not. There is of course, still a glimmer of hope that the Test Series against the Kiwis was just a one-off aberration only for the little master. The Irani Trophy therefore presents Sachin Tendulkar the opportunity of match practice and help him stay in focus through some competitive cricket.
The questions that will arise if Sachin does play are: Does Rajasthan have the pace attack to test the Master? If the BCCI does select Sachin then wouldn’t it deny the chance of a promising youngster in the playing XI?
The irony of this season’s Irani Trophy is that some of the best cricketers after the national team are off to New Zealand to play in the ‘A’ series. So the Selectors are short of players for the Rest of India team when they sit together on Monday to announce the squad.