Compliments and surprise as Tendulkar quits ODIs

Mumbai: The cricket fraternity on Sunday paid glowing tributes to Sachin Tendulkar on his retirement from one-day internationals, saying that the record-breaking batsman`s feats cannot be surpassed.

Tributes started pouring in soon after the 39-year-old cricketer announced his decision to quit ODIs on Sunday.

"I felt that he might have played the series against Pakistan. But it is his decision and I think it is the right," said Tendulkar`s long-time opening partner in ODIs, Sourav Ganguly.

"There was a doubt on whether he would play ODI cricket or not. But I am not surprised by his decision. He has done what he thought was right.

"I don`t think there was any pressure of selectors on him. It is his own decision. No one can drop him," Ganguly added.

Former captain Kris Srikkanth said he was surprised by Tendulkar`s decision.

"I am surprised by his move but he is leaving ODI cricket on a high. I am sure he will want to leave on a high in Test cricket also. He will be looking forward to a good Test series against Australia.

"He has always done well against Pakistan. But he always raises his bar on a good wicket against a strong attack. Be it in the 1992 World Cup against Pakistan or 2003, he did well against Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup also," Srikkanth said.

"It is easy for us to say that he could have retired after the 2011 World Cup. He has got 100 centuries so he went to the Asia Cup. It is one thing that only few have achieved. His records cannot be surpassed," he added.

Another former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar said Tendulkar should have continued with ODI cricket.

"Actually I am surprised. If he is continuing with international cricket (Test) then he should have continued with ODI also. We play almost 25 ODIs in a season. It is very important to keep playing international cricket."

"In ODIs, he opens the innings and plays the full innings almost so he gets used to international bowling. I am surprised he opted out of ODIs. He should have continued playing ODI.

"As long as he is playing Test match cricket or international cricket, he should have continued playing in ODIs," Vengsarkar said.

Tendulkar, considered the most complete batsman in modern cricket and one who was considered next only to the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, retires from the ODI format at the top of the run-getters` list with 18,426 runs in 463 matches.

"Masters.463 matches, 23 yrs, 18426 runs !!!! These numbers no body else will be able to come close to. Salute salute salute to Sachin," tweeted teammate Harbhajan Singh.

"Sachin tendulkar a grt batsman.Grt human being.A grt frnd.Grt man 2 look up 2.Proud indian.Real son of india.I salute u nd luv u," Harbhajan wrote on his twitter handle.

According to Kirti Azad, Tendulkar has "obliged" Indian cricket by calling it quits.

"I think he has obliged Indian cricket by retiring. The god has ultimately decided. Everybody is talking that he should retire. I suppose if I am playing cricket whether I am playing good or bad, the call has to be taken by the selectors," Azad said.

"The selectors didn`t take a call. I think he was also tired of the selectors not taking a call on him. I am very happy that he has ultimately taken a decision at the right time," he added.

Another former player Bapu Nadkarni said Tendulkar`s decision should be respected.

"His retirement was expected for some time now and he must be thinking that he is good enough for the five day scene, that is why he hasn`t retired from Tests.

"He is the best man to decide when to retire from other formats because he knows his body well. All this time people were asking when is he retiring? Now that he has announced his retirement from ODIs, people are asking why has he retired? I don`t understand the Indian people," he said.

Tendulkar goes out after amassing 18,426 runs in 463 one-dayers at an average of 44.83. The diminutive right-hander has an astonishing 49 hundreds in the format, including a double hundred -- the first in this form of the game.

Former Pakistan captain and noted commentator Ramiz Raja said he can understand Tendulkar`s decision to call it quits.

"When you have played 23 years of international cricket, a time comes when ODIs don`t excite you anymore as you have achieved everything that you possibly could have. Sachin has also won the World Cup, therefore his decision is understandable."

"However, herein lies the biggest challenge as he has now retired from ODIs. This will mean that he will be at the most playing 30 days of international cricket.

"Earlier he used to play both ODIs and Tests which meant that he played close 70-75 days minimum every year. It will be a very big challenge to come for those 25-30 days and be in good rhythm to perform at his best. But I am delighted to find the manner in which he is trying to work hard to get back into form in Test cricket which shows his hunger and passion to do well in Tests," Raja added.

South African batsman Hashim Amla also paid tribute to Tendulkar.

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga said Tendulkar has enough cricket left in him to prolong his Test career.

"He has figured greatly with runs in the longer version of cricket. I think he has played a little bit more in the longer version but when he feels that he is good enough to play in the Test side, I know, he feels he is good enough to play in the longer version in order to achieve the milestone of 200 Tests," said Ranatunga.

Ranatunga supported Tendulkar's decision to retire from the ODI cricket and said he has done a lot of good to the world cricket.

"I think he has taken the right decision. He is such a cricketer, who has the expertise to decide as he knows what to do and what not to do. Retiring from one day cricket, I am sure he might have taken the right decision as lot of people will come out and say a lot of things. But, it is left to the individual to decide. I am sure he has done the right thing. Sachin is a great player considering what he has done to the world of cricket," he added.

Former India opener, W V Raman also paid rich tributes to Tendulkar and said an era in cricket has come to an end.

"Obviously an era has come to an end as he has chosen to make a quite exit from one day scene. It is not a surprise in a way because he has minimized his appearances in the last couple of years. Obvious his enjoyment factor would have diminished, in his case.

"Sachin who has played for 23 years in one day matches needs a challenging format to keep him going. One day format is more of fitness and not technical skills. I am sure he will be quite relaxed and take on the challenges in Test format," said Raman.

Raman said the batting maestro will be remembered for his "challenging and superb" innings in limited overs format.

"He will be remembered every day for his challenging and superb knocks in 50-50 matches. I am sure this will enable him to concentrate and do extremely well in Test cricket.I am sure he will go out of his way and will be relaxed and concentrate on his getting in to the runs spree act," he added.

Star England batsman Kevin Pietersen also paid tribute to Tendulkar for an incredible ODI career.

"Statistics NEVER lie! They tell a very true story.. Well done Sachin! What an incredible ODI career..," Pietersen tweeted.

Another England player Ravi Bopara feels that another Tendulkar will not emerge in his lifetime.

"Well done to @sachin_rt on his amazing ODI career. Inspiration to millions if not billions. We will never see another Sachin in our lifetime."

Agriculture Minister and former ICC and BCCI chief, Sharad Pawar hailed Tendulkar as the greatest batsman of all time.

"Greatest batsman of all time & my good friend Sachin Tendulkar retires from One day cricket . Thank you for making India so proud," Pawar tweeted.