Tendulkar said taking a decision on retirement after playing the game for close to 23 years will be a "hard one" and he will go by what his heart says
New Delhi: Masterblaster Sachin Tendulkar has for the first time admitted that at 39 he may not have much cricket left in him and will reassess his cricketing future next month, reports PTI.
Tendulkar's retirement has been a topic of debate for quite some time now and the batting great said though he does not have any immediate plans, the thought of retirement has been on his mind.
He said that taking a decision on retirement after playing the game for close to 23 years will be a "hard one" and he will go by what his heart says.
"The moment of retirement is going to be hard because I haven't experienced anything close to what I might go through when I retire. It depends on what my heart tells me then. I need not take a call right now. When I play in November, I will reassess things," he said.
"I am 39 and I don't think I have plenty of cricket left in me. But it depends on my frame of mind and my physical ability to deliver. When I feel that I am not delivering what is needed, and then I will re-look at the scheme of things. I am already 39 and no one expects me to go on playing forever," Tendulkar told 'Times NOW'.
India play a four-match home Test series against England starting on November 15 in Ahmedabad.
Tendulkar, who holds almost all the records in world cricket after playing 190 Tests and 463 ODIs, said that it would be a tough call for him to hang his bat and he will go by what his heart says.
"I don't know. It is going to be hard because I haven't experienced anything close to what I might go through when I retire. I cannot relate this moment with any other moment in my life. It will be a tough call. I will go with what my heart says," said Tendulkar, who has scored 15,533 in Tests and 18,426 runs in ODIs.
Tendulkar, however, refused to give a specific time frame for his retirement.
"Nobody decides in this manner. I do not know what is in store. I wish I knew. If I did know, I wouldn't have had to wait for 22 years to lift the World Cup. Perhaps, I would have done it in the first instance in Australia in 91-92 then.
"I am looking at it series by series. As long as I feel that I can deliver, I will continue playing. It also depends on what the team feels and whether I am motivated enough to continue being on top of the game."
Asked if his retirement would be from all forms of the game, he said, "It again depends on what my heart tells me then. I need not take a call right now."
Sunil Gavaskar had suggested that age has caught up with Tendulkar after he was bowled thrice in the recent home Test series against New Zealand, but he conceded that it was natural for others to raise such questions.
"Sunil Gavaskar has also said positive things about me. When there have been a lot of positive feedback as well, why keep harping only on the negative comments?" he asked
"Ultimately, if I am out, I am out. I can't get stuck on one article about me and try to create something that the person is hoping to create out of it. I need to stay focused on the game and constantly keep finding ways to improve myself," he said.
"There are two different things -- scoring runs and what I feel. For instance, if this three-wicket ordeal had happened when I was 25, no one would have questioned it. Incidentally, it happened when I am 39, so questions were raised. This is natural," he added.
Asked about another former captain Mohammed Azharuddin's comments that his reflexes have slowed down with age, Tendulkar said, "When I met Sir Don Bradman in 1998-99 on his 90th birthday, he told me that it is natural for a batsman to change after he is 30. I have played quite well for nine years after I turned 30. It is natural for any person to slow down as he grows older."
Tendulkar said he stays away from opinion of others about him to avoid getting affected.
"I have always stayed away from what people say about me, right from my younger days. My brother always told me that I need to keep away from all this to stay focused on the game.
Irrespective of criticisms or praises that come your way, it is important to stay focused and keep improving your game."