Sun, 24 Apr 2011 16:42:48 GMT

MSN users: Sachin will play in the 2015 World Cup

The verdict is out and outstanding. On his 38th birthday on Sunday MSN users have not only poured their wishes for Tendulkar, they have also given the Master Blaster a massive vote of confidence.

MSN users: Sachin can easily play in the 2015 World Cup

MSN India had put a poll on its home page asking readers one tough question: Should Sachin Tendulkar play the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia-New Zealand? The response to the question was overwhelming. Out of the 5277 users who had taken part in the survey, 2980 votes fell in the favour of Sachin Tendulkar taking guard in Australia to defend India's champions tag in the next World Cup in 2015. 2297 users believe that since Sachin has won the World Cup, there is a chance that the maestro may decide to hang his boots. In percentage terms; 56 percent of the readers think that Sachin will play in the next World Cup, while 44 percent say that he will take the World Cup win as an opportunity to leave on a high.

The final decision though is only in the hands of Sachin Tendulkar. Will he go by the popular vote and keep playing for many more years until the 2015 World Cup? After the World Cup win, Sachin Tendulkar was asked to share his thoughts on retirement. The Little Master cleared the air by saying, "I have not thought about all that (retirement). If I have ever to think about it, what is there to hide? I will tell you openly that day, whatever I decide to do; now I want to enjoy the game." Tendulkar further added, ""The passion of cricket has not died. The love of the game is very much alive and I have played such a long time because of that I don't see any reason why that would change now. It is time to enjoy the game even more. I'm looking forward to it and continue. It is a wonderful moment and I should cherish it."

There was a time in Sachin's career when injuries were threatening to wear him down and talks of his retirement were doing the rounds. The year was 2004; Tendulkar was writhing through a tennis elbow injury which made it very difficult for him even to grip the bat. It was probably the lowest point of his career. Tendulkar missed the 2004 Videocon Cup in Holland, the NatWest Challenge and the Champions Trophy in England. Then in the third Test against the touring Australians at Nagpur, Tendulkar made a comeback. He looked out of sorts, but in the next Test in Mumbai, he produced an innings of sheer class on a pitch that was turning square. Tendulkar scored 55 in 83 balls and along with VVS Laxman's 69 helped India set a magical win over the Aussies.

The significant point here is that Sachin battled through testing times and as usual came out with flying colours. When many were speculating about his retirement, Tendulkar was busy repairing himself, both physically and mentally. He must have had his self-doubts, but he overcame all of them to resurrect his career. When Sachin did not say 'I give up' during probably one of the worst crisis of his cricketing career, we surely should not expect him to say 'bye-bye' when he is at the peak of his powers. Is he at his peak of his powers or is the summit still awaiting him?

Next: The numbers story: Has Sachin reached the peak or are bowlers in for more trouble?

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