New Delhi: India's 1983 World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev feels that the time has run out for Sachin Tendulkar and the batting maestro should immediately retire from international cricket.
Kapil believes that Tendulkar, who has scored 68 runs in four innings in the ongoing tri-series in Australia, should have retired after the 2011 World Cup, which India won on home soil.
"From what we have seen in the last three months, he (Sachin) should have announced his retirement after the World Cup or even earlier. It's important to know that every cricketer has his time. Having served India for 22-23 years, there surely is no greater cricketer than him. But he should have announced his decision to retire from the shorter format soon after the World Cup," Kapil was quoted as saying.
"Maybe his time has come. Every player has his time. He is 39-40 years now. Age is not on his side as it was earlier."
Kapil did not mince his words and accused Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni of favouritism in the team. Kapil said he was bewildered at Dhoni's decision to not bowl Ravindra Jadeja in the crushing 110-runs defeat against Australia in Brisbane on Sunday.
"If you are an Indian captain, you cannot be partial. I was surprised when Rudra Pratap Singh was drafted into the Test side in England. One must find out why allrounder Jadeja was not used as a bowler even for a single over in the ODI against Australia at Brisbane. Dhoni is a mature player. I am perturbed when he picks a player as an all-rounder and doesn't make him bowl at all. If anyone makes such mistakes, he can't survive for long. If Dhoni makes such mistakes repeatedly, he will have to pay the price," Kapil added.
Kapil also said that it was time for veterans Rahul Dravid and VVS.Laxman to retire from Test cricket to give youngsters a chance to prove themselves in the international arena.
"I think Dravid and Laxman have played their last Test. They could be given one last Test for a respectable exit, but certainly not at the cost of compromising the team's interests.
"There is no denying that the likes of Rahul, Sachin and Laxman have served the nation like few other cricketers. But they are no longer young, and if Indian cricket does not move forward from the Big Three, it will risk falling a generation back and struggle like West Indies and Australian teams have done in the past," he said.