In any case, it is weird that we still tout Sachin as our best batsman. There was a time when he was a unique combination of aggression, style and consistency. Is he still our best though? Shot for shot and inning for inning, we have far better players. When Sehwag is in the mood, Sachin starts to look like Dravid. When runs flow from Laxman's bat, Sachin's strokes look manufactured. And there is no doubt who the "wall" is. Well yes, he blends in these qualities better than others, and produces good knocks from time to time. But I have my reservations about him being the best.
For one, I am deeply disappointed at his inability to lead the team. Such absurd shirking of responsibility would be tolerated only in our government services where one joins as a clerk and can retire as one, albeit hardworking, if one chooses to. That is precisely the allegory that comes to my mind when I watch Sachin play. A focused, hard working, dedicated and determined worker ant. He cant play like a Sehwag or Yuvraj because he is supposedly mature and responsible. But apparently not mature or responsible enough to lead the team. So all we get out of Sachin are some consistent innings, and its a shame that we dont have the talent to replace him.
Not to discount his feats and accomplishments, but what's the point of keeping him around, if he is serving no higher purpose, simply being a batsman building records, blocking the place of a youngster who can be groomed for the future. And even then, threatening the place of others for denying him a damn record! He is like our good old Maruti 800. A reliable and elegant alternative to the Ambassadors and Padminis when he broke out on the scene. And he remains so. But would you be caught dead driving a 800 today?