The gods of cricket
As India’s cricket tour of England starts, the BBC writes:
If Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman were to retire from the game this instant, what would the Indian batting line-up look like?
This thought experiment will soon become reality. How well prepared is the Indian team to fill these slots?
That’s three batsmen with a combined experience of 453 Tests, 35,152 runs and 99 centuries.
How can you replace men like that? Laxman will turn 37 in November, the other two will blow out 39 candles each on their next birthday.
India’s priority will be to ensure that all three do not go out at the same time. Retirements will have to be staggered, and newcomers given a chance to be mentored by one of the greatest middle orders of all time.
It is unlikely that any of the elders will come on another England tour, although such things cannot be said with absolute certainty.
When the careers of the original ‘Fab Four’ of Indian cricket, the spinners Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkatraghavan ended, many expected their successors to be exactly like them.
Their replacements were criticised for not matching up. Fans cannot afford to make that mistake again and put additional pressure on youngsters following in the footsteps of all-time greats.