New Delhi: Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott feels a poor series against Australia could force Sachin Tendulkar to retire from all forms of cricket as the world doesn`t want to see the Indian "embarrass" himself with repeated failures.
"He desperately needs some runs against Australia in the Test matches in March, because I don`t think any of us want to see him embarrass himself with more failures after failure," Boycott said.
"If he doesn`t get runs against Australia, I`m reasonably confident that he`ll see the light and call his own retirement. But you cross your fingers and hope he can get some," he told `espncricinfo.com`.
One of the game`s all-time greats, Tendulkar had, on Sunday, announced his retirement from one-day cricket, bringing to an end a glorious 23-year-old career in the format in which he rewrote numerous batting records.
Boycott called Tendulkar`s decision a reasonable and sensible one.
"It`s very sad, it`s a fact of life, that more of us, as we get older, we have to accept we just can`t do what we used to do. There`s no fun in accepting that, there`s no fun in believing it. There`s no fun in having to say it gets easier, because it doesn`t get easier. It can`t.
"So for him, it`s tough, is one-day (cricket). As wonderful as he`s been, we can`t live on the memories. He`s 39, and so I think giving up is very responsible and sensible.
Asked if India needed Tendulkar more in the Test format, Boycott said, "I`m not sure it`s about what India needs most, I think it`s about what`s best for Sachin. At this stage of his career, he`s done well for himself and he`s done well for his country.
"I think he has to do what`s best for him because if he plays better, whatever format of cricket, it`s going to help the team he plays for, which is India. That`s the most important thing."
"He (Tendulkar) hasn`t played in the T20s for India for a while. ODI cricket, today, in the modern game, has become so physically demanding on the player`s body, even 50 overs. As much as we all love Sachin, me included, he`s never been an outstanding athlete in the field. He`s never let anybody down, he`s been competent, but nobody could ever call him a top outfielder," Boycott said.
The Yorkshireman further said, "So, as he gets older, like all of us, me included, he just can`t run as fast as a youngster, he can`t dive around.
"Not that he was a great diver but when you do dive around in the modern day - as you are expected to; it`s a modern phenomenon - he`s going to hurt himself a bit more. As you get older, you`re going to fall the wrong way, your body hurts more, it bruises easier - it`s nature taking over.
"He can now focus on staying fit, playing as much zonal cricket as he can - and that`s important, trying to get some runs in that, which shouldn`t be too difficult. You know (in domestic cricket) they`re not as good as him. Even now, when he`s past his zenith, he`s still better than them. And he needs form. Form means runs, runs means confidence, and then he can play against Australia in March.
Asked if Tendulkar played a role in transforming the 50-over format, Boycott`s opinion centered on the Indian`s longevity.
"Longevity more than anything. There have been other outstanding one-day cricketers, like there have been outstanding Test players. But it`s the longevity, and playing in all countries and playing well. That`s it."