Dhoni earns more than Rooney; Sachin more than Rory

Focus on India's over-paid underachievers after England defeat

Sachin Tendulkar has slipped a place down to be ranked 19th in the latest ICC Test rankings released from Dubai on Sunday.

It cannot get any worse for the Indian batting legend who ironically returned to 'form' with a circumspect innings of 76 in the first innings of the third Test against England in Kolkata.

After a string of poor scores against New Zealand and England, calls for Tendulkar to call time on his glittering career have been strident.

It is arguable whether India's batting maestro is past his prime at 39 but there is little doubt he is still a marketable commodity.

One of only two cricketers named among the top 100 highest paid athletes in the Forbes rich-list announced six months ago, he would easily top the list of underperformers going by his current form in the world sport.

His total earnings of $18.6 million which includes salary/winnings ($2.1m) and endorsements $16.5m have earned him a rank of 78.

"Injuries have nagged the Little Master in the twilight of his career, keeping him out of last year’s Champions League and a portion of the Indian Premier League earlier this year," noted Forbes commented almost apologetically after ranking him above Chelsea and former England captain John Terry (88) and top ranked golfer Rory McIlroy (91).

Terry's stock may be on the decline in the same way as runs has have dried up for agonisingly for Tendulkar.

But it is ironic to find under achievers like Tendulkar and India's World Cup winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to be earning more than McIlroy who is spoken of in the same breath as Tiger Woods.

For the record, Dhoni ranked 30 in the Forbes rich-list is above Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney (37), top ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic (61) and also earns more than Olympic spring legend Usain Bolt (63).

Tendulkar, considered to be the greatest batsman of all-time, seems to be resting on his laurels after attaining the milestone of scoring a century of centuries.

McIlroy on the other hand is growing in stature capping a glorious year by winning the USPGA Tour Player of the Year award, the youngest recipient since Tiger Woods did so in 1998.

The 23-year old Ulsterman followed his final round meltdown at the Masters with a US Open win at Congressional last year for his first Major.

McIlroy had four wins this year on tour, more than anyone else, and that total included a Major championship when he ran away with the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. On top of that, McIlroy won the money title and the Vardon Trophy and had 10 top-10 finishes on tour.

He is one of golf’s most marketable young stars. But he faces competition from one of the golden oldies in the world of sport who continues to plod away and refuses to go away gracefully.

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