Monday, October 13, 2008

Enough is enough I say

अभ बस! The time is ripe for atleast three of the fab (read over-age) five to move on to other things. Yes, I dare speaketh of the fivesome of Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble. It's time the baton is passed on to the guys who are willing to take a risk, who are willing to dirty their clothes to save a run, who don't have to play every match with a guillotine over their heads!

Looking at this objectively, all of them are past 35 and are certainly not getting any younger. How many other international teams can boast of even two players over the age of 35 (dear Fab Five, we are not proud of this achievement). All of them are purely in the team based on their past laurels, be those two years ago, or a decade ago. How long can the Indian team stay afloat with these dead weights on board?

Sachin Tendulkar has been in worse forms during his career. But constant injury claims and his sitting out of domestic competitions and then miraculously being fit for test matches is a glossy lie. Age is not on his side and he's had the longest career of them all. A graceful exit at this stage would only make him a greater man. However, now being only 15 runs short of Lara's record, its very clear what he is after, and his performances speak of that.

Anil Kumble is the captain of the team, and yes as is the way in Indian cricket, he is safe for a couple of years. But maybe he should introspect and look at his recent performances. He is unable to turn the ball, STILL! He has dropped his pace, so all he does is send a looping ball down to the batsman who can easily pick him off. He took a break during the recent test match against Australia and when Dhoni took over, India was more attacking and the Australians were struggling! Take a hint Mr. Kumble.

Rahul Dravid/Saurav Ganguly/V.V.S. Laxman are the most unfit of the bunch. Their batting styles are now outdated and they dont make any improvements. As a result, bowlers are able to get the better of them with ease. Of course, this trio is very good at scoring a 50 every 5 odd matches. So all three are neck-to-neck on who should be kicked out first. Atleast Ganguly had the pride to retire before being kicked out! These three are no longer suited to the game, even test match cricket.

So who is to take over? Definitely Dhoni should be made captain. To replace Anil Kumble ,India now has many spinners who actually turn the ball. Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra are able leg spin options who are hard to play. Rohit Sharma is a great replacement for Sachin Tendulkar. Of course, comparing them man-to-man is going to be difficult on Rohit, but he has shown that he has the temperament, given the chance. A very able number three, who is not getting any chances these days, and a very good replacement for Rahul Dravid is Suresh Raina. He is very consistent and plays with confidence. A player who can very easily step into the shoes of Laxman is Yuvraj Singh. For years on the sideline, given some time in test cricket, he will learn to buckle down and play out the tough sessions. Virat Kohli, in a short span of time has proved that he is made for the big time. He could be a very good replacement for Ganguly.

There, I have it all mapped out. Now only if the fab five would take a hint.

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