Kolkata: Former Pakistan opener Sadiq Mohammad questioned the timing of Sachin Tendulkar's ODI retirement, saying the Indian could have called it quits in a more organised manner, which would have given his team a chance to give him a "grand farewell".
"His retirement announcement came suddenly. Normally, a big player announces it early so that the team gives a grand farewell on his last match... like we had during Asif Iqbal's last Test here with about 90,000 people giving a standing ovation," Sadiq said.
One of the game's all-time greats, Tendulkar had recently announced his retirement from one-day cricket, bringing to an end a glorious 23-year-old career in the format during which he rewrote numerous batting records. "When he used to turn up on the field, from his walk only you would make out that he's a grade above the rest," Sadiq said of Tendulkar.
Talking about Virener Sehwag, Sadiq said that the India opener can be destructive on his day. "Please pardon my language and the choice of words but Sehwag can be a terrorist (while batting) on his day... He can be really, really dangerous when he gets going," the 67-year-old said. The left-hander, though, rated 23-year-old Nasir Jamshed as a technically sound batsman.
Asked to rate Jamshed alongside the Indian duo of Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir and Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez, Sadiq said, "Nasir Jamshed is technically very sound. To me, he's a better batsman. "He has the tendency to play long innings and carry his bat throughout, a great quality of an opener," he said of Jamshed, who has scored 101 not out to guide Pakistan to a six-wicket win over India in the Ahmedabad one-dayer.
Sadiq rated former English batsman Geoffrey Boycott as the best Test opener ever. "He used to smell the leather -- he would watch the ball very closely. Even when he left the ball he would follow till it lands in the wicketkeeper's gloves. "Even I had moulded myself in that style and would tell my boys to follow the ball very closely."
Sadiq is here as one of the dignitaries for the India-Pakistan second one-dayer, scheduled to be held on January 3. "Batsmen have to play with extra-ordinary confidence to face a bowler at the Eden Gardens as there would be pressure of expectation from 80,000-odd crowd. An India-Pakistan match would just add to the pressure."
He hoped that the Pakistani side, leading 1-0 in the three-match, would seal the series in Kolkata. "India are no pushovers... they would try to come back very hard. So it's better for Pakistan to seal the series on Thursday," he said.