Monday, February 25, 2008

Tendulkar blamed for India's failures

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar came down heavily on his former teammate Sachin Tendulkar saying his repeated failures at the top of the order is hurting India in one-day internationals.

"Another problem that India have these days when they bat second on a good pitch, is that their most experienced batsman, who bats at such an influential position in the batting order, becomes almost redundant," he wrote in his column for the Times of India.

Tendulkar has failed to get going in the ongoing tri-series having managed just 128 runs in seven matches at a lowly average of 18.28.

Manjrekar also pointed out that in the last 51 One-day internationals, Tendulkar's batting average when he bats first is 62.10 in 24 innings. In contrast when he bats second, it's 26.00 in 27 innings.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday also seemed visibly upset with the repeated failures of Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag and suggested that the batting order could be changed for the next match, against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

"The run-making for the top order hasn't been the story till now and it could make things so much easier for the lower order batsmen," Dhoni said after India's 18-run loss to Australia in Sydney on Sunday.

Manjrekar believes that Tendulkar seems to let the team down the most when chasing big targets.

'After a brilliant Test series, it's not so much his form in this one-day series that is the concern but his contribution, at that crucial opening position when India is set bigger targets to chase. If you look at it, it's a simple batting issue that the maestro along with the team management should professionally address,' he said.

The former Mumbai batsman also seem puzzled as to why no one is talking about Tendulkar's poor form. Senior pros like Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly were shown the door from the ODI team after a few failures and youngsters were inducted in their place.

'But with Tendulkar, it's like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about,' Manjrekar writes.

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