Sachin Tendulkar's contribution to the game of cricket has been immense during his 24-year playing career. From his debut in 1989 to his final Test in 2013, Tendulkar was the acknowledged gold standard of batting in ODIs and Tests. Tendulkar is the leading run-getter in both ODIs and Tests and he is the only player in history to have 100 international tons. With 18426 ODI runs and 15921 runs in Tests, Tendulkar is a legend on the field. Off the field, he continues to being a mentor to youngsters and he has also given his input on the state of the game and the challenges that it faces.
In an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, Tendulkar has outlined that the standard of Test cricket has dropped due to the lack of rivalries and that is the biggest challenge that the longest format of the game is facing. "If you start looking at recent Test records, with very few can you say they are strong teams. It is alarming without any doubt. The standard of play has dropped and we can see that. Something needs to be done about it," Tendulkar told Hindustan Times. Tendulkar had stressed the need for big rivalries in order to make Test cricket exciting during the Hindustan Times 2017 Leadership summit.
In that interaction, he had said, "Test cricket is not dying. People’s mindsets have changed. It’s about the big rivalries. There was a time when everyone wanted to beat West Indies. Later, it was Australia. They had nine world class players and two terrific players. If three-four of their players clicked and did the job, they would win."
However, Tendulkar has expressed concern abot the ODI game, stating that monotony had set in the game and that was the main reason he had proposed the 25-25 formula. In that, he had suggested a team would have batted 25 overs, then the opposition would have batted 25 overs. Tendulkar cleared the misconception that he was talking about mini-Test cricket with 20 wickets.
"There is monotony in the one-day game without doubt. That is why I made the proposal; to remove monotony and more to neutralise the dew factor advantage. Should world events be spaced out? Are there are too many of them? There are many venues where dew is a decisive factor. In the current format, toss basically decides who will win, unless one team is playing terrible cricket. If you bat second and sensibly, the bowlers have very limited chance with the wet ball. There one side has full advantage because they have won the toss and bowled in dry conditions. The other side has to fight the opposition as well as the conditions. How do we neutralise that? In 25-25, the side bowling first will get to bowl third, so they will also bowl under lights in the second half but there will be less dew," Tendulkar said.