The decision of Sachin Tendulkar, arguably the greatest batsman of any era, not to retire from Test cricket at present is a great boost to the survival of the longer version of the game, following his retirement from one day cricket which he also dominated with consummate precision. Test cricket is the ultimate test for any cricketer and will define their legacy to the game. Tendulkar’s continued desire to remain tested is in fact the perfect measure of the game’s importance and value for the next generation. The glitzy T20 format has made a tremendous impact on the global audience for its swift and exciting entertainment as well as the side attractions which include the dancing models, and there is a fascinating atmosphere for those who can afford the luxuries. The dug-outs are right next to the field so that the players can relate much more to the fans, and the scene never has a dull moment. T20 is quite financially rewarding for someone who can muscle the ball with regularity, even if not technically well, and therefore more players are beginning to be attracted by it.
In contrast Test cricket is less glamorous and unforgiving at times, given the duel between bat and ball over a long period, in many cases without even a result. The traditional white outfits and red cricket balls are being eclipsed by the attractive coloured, branded uniforms.
All this notwithstanding, given Sachin Tendulkar’s remarkable career and the affection in which he held globally, he has provided a powerful indication that Test cricket will survive and remain every cricketer’s dream. The two series involving Australia and South Africa along with India and England in 2012 were gems. Test cricket has an extremely rich history that will forever acclaim the likes of Garfield Sobers, Vivian Richards, Brian Lara, Clive Lloyd, Imran Khan, Martin Crowe, etc. These are immortal men in Test cricket, a game of beauty and rivalry requiring supreme skill, powers of endurance and concentration and technique. Such God-given talent and attributes are the hallmark of Sachin Tendulkar and therefore there is no better cricketer to acknowledge the importance of Test cricket than the maestro himself.