NEW DELHI: There might be growing criticism against Sachin Tendulkar after a string of poor performances but former India opener Navjot Singh Sidhu feels the senior batsman's presence is crucial at a time when the team is going through a transitional phase.
"We don't have VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly any more in the team. So we badly need experience and till the time we find an option we just cannot think about Tendulkar's retirement," said Sidhu.
Tendulkar has scored just 153 runs in the last 10 innings at an average of 15.3 and has also been a major disappointment in the last two Tests of the four-match series against England.
On Tendulkar's extended form slump, the cricketer turned commentator said, "Sachin is not God, he is just a human being. He doesn't have a 'sudarshan chakra', he just has a willow and the bat fails at times."
Sidhu said that he feels sad whenever Tendulkar is criticised.
"Sachin is not just a personality, he is an institution. He is a 'Kohinoor' and can't be turned into glass.
"I am confident he will return to form in the next two Test matches," he insisted.
Sidhu, however, admitted that Tendulkar's reflexes have gone down with age.
"His reflexes might have gone down but he has been playing for the last 23 years and is experienced enough to come out of this slump," said Sidhu.