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Sachin Tendulkar deserves a final flourish in Test cricket, says David Gower, after India lose series to England

Last Updated: 18/12/12 8:46am

David Gower told Sky Sports News that Indian great Sachin Tendulkar should not leave the Test arena just yet.

"That would be undignified and unworthy of a man who has played international cricket at such a high standard for 23 years or so."

David Gower

The 39-year-old, who has scored 51 tons and 66 half-centuries in his 194 Tests, laboured during the series with England, which his side lost 2-1 after the final clash in Nagpur ended in a draw.

Tendulkar snared just one 50 and averaged 18.66 over the course of his six innings, a long way shy of his career average of 54.32 - but Sky Sports commentator Gower hopes the Little Master gets at least one more opportunity to showcase his talents in the five-day game.

"Not quite," said Gower, when asked if the elegant right-hander should hang up his bat. "I don't think it is terminal yet - but it is getting close.

"He had some really good deliveries bowled at him by England which might actually have got him out 10 years ago, so credit to Jimmy Anderson in Nagpur and Monty Panesar in Mumbai who really kept the pressure on him.

"And it would be nice for Sachin to make his own decision and not have the selectors tap him on the shoulder and say: 'Look, old son, enough is enough, get out of here'. That would be undignified and unworthy of a man who has played international cricket at such a high standard for 23 years or so.

"The next series is against Australia, another of the world's great sides, so in a home series in some good venues it is a chance for him to possibly say this is my final farewell and finish on as good a note as possible.

"Either way, he will be able to look back on one of the greatest careers of all time."

Conquered

Gower was the last English captain to win in India, having done so in 1984/85, but current England chief Cook has now followed in his footsteps after seizing victory in his first series as permanent Test skipper.

The Essex star was in sensational touch with the bat in the sub-continent, scoring three hundreds, a highest score of 190 in the third Test in Kolkata and averaging above 80 - and Gower feels the 27-year-old's form with the willow aided his leadership.

"Every challenge Alastair has been presented with over the last few years he has conquered; he has developed his one-day game and his Test game against spin has dramatically improved over the last six or nine months," said Gower.

"When you are making runs, your enthusiasm for captaincy and ability to make decisions on the hoof actually increases and, at the moment, Alastair's thirst for both disciplines is undiminished - but down the line is the real test.

"You will have tough series and a few bad decisions but eventually the time required to look after 16 other people and worry about them as much as yourself drains people, like it did to (former England captains) Mike Atherton, Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain."

History

Gower also believes England's triumph in India is on par with an Ashes victory and saluted the way the tourist were able to bounce back from defeat in the opening Test in Ahmedabad and out-play their hosts in every department on alien surfaces.

"Playing in Australia is always hard to do and it is very satisfying to win because of the history," said Gower. "But while the history between England and India doesn't go as far back, only four England captains have won in India, proving how hard it can be, so it is similar to an Ashes win.

"The impressive thing here, though, was coming from 1-0 down as if you rewind the tape to Ahmedabad, where India won by nine wickets and England played spin badly, we all feared the worst. It was a real test of character so the whole team deserves plaudits."

Gower added: "Australia beat everybody else in the 1990s but they struggled in India, simply because Indian players like Indian conditions and, as a basic general rule, other players don't.

"Coming to terms with slow, low wickets and turning pitches is never easy and sometimes if you've only got a month or so to do it then by the time you have done it as a foreign batsman, you have already lost the series.

"However, England managed to adapt very quickly and out-bowled India in the spin department and out-batted them in Mumbai and Kolkata."

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