Since the Indians lost their number one spot in the rankings, cricket fanatics have speculated over the need to drop the elderly statesmen that make up the Indian batting line up. It is no secret that the Indian middle order has the average age of the residents of an old people’s home but for so long they have provided unprecedented stability and diversity.
Dravid’s recent retirement from international cricket could potentially have a domino effect on this ageing batting line up, as the poor performances in recent test series against England and Australia have left critics questioning their right to remain in the side. With plenty of young talented batsmen waiting in the wings at domestic level, it would be a bitter shame for the team to continue down the same road of selection, especially given their desperately disappointing form of late. It begs the question as to whether they should be forced out of the side altogether or given the opportunity to call time on their wonderful careers in their own way.
With the exception of Tendulkar (who is still scoring runs consistently), Laxman and Sehwag have not delivered for some time. Both players could therefore follow Dravid’s professional example and step down, to give younger players the opportunity to establish themselves in the Test arena. The fact that they have retained their places in the side for so long pays great credit to their outstanding abilities and attitudes towards this beautiful game. Sehwag the youngest of the golden generation at 33, potentially has a few more years left in him. As for Laxman, scoring runs against the West Indies could have overshadowed his performances against stronger bowling attacks, such as England and Australia. VVS has achieved great things during his career, providing the backbone for India’s middle order time and time again but now it’s time to for him to step aside and reflect on a wonderful knock in Test Cricket.
There’s no doubt this transitional phase will be extremely challenging for India, much as it was for Australia when the likes of Warne, McGrath and Hayden exited the Test arena. However, there is certainly plenty of talent amongst the younger crop of Indian players, though experts debate as to whether they have the correct attitude required to fill the illustrious shoes of those that stood before them.