Thursday, February 2, 2012

Time To Go

VVS Laxman is 37 years old. Rahul Dravid is in his 39, Sachin Tendulkar is going to 39 in a few days. Tendulkar has been playing for India for 22 years, Dravid and Laxman for 15 years. How many more years do they want to play when the youngsters are waiting for their chances is the question everyone is thinking of.

The purpose of continuing them in the team till now is they can act as backbone to the batting lineup in longer format of the game which requires good technique suitable for all pitches. Which in the opinion of many, is lacking in the possible young replacements like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Chateswar Pujara, Manoj Tiwary, etc. Until these youngsters perfect their technique, these old-timers are to act as fillers.

But they are not doing justice to their assigned roles. Two back-to-back white-wash overseas series are the testimony to that. Tendulkar is better off among them but that is not enough for a man named Tendulkar!!!

Laxman is on the top of the stack of the players waiting to be pushed out of the team. He played an astounding innings of 96 in South Africa in 2010 but after that he isn't able to perform on pitches abroad. No doubt he scored 3 half centuries in West Indies in mid 2011, one or two on tough pitches in that, but that was a depleted West Indies bowling attack. He scored a century on the same West Indies team in India on a flat pitch which doesn't add to his achievements. His England tour and Australian tours are disasters.

Dravid has been fantastic in England series. He rediscovered his form and class when everybody wrote him down. His batting display was the only saving grace in the India's disaster tour of England. Such was his form that he was taken into ODI team against England after some years. He continued his form even on West Indies in India. But his Australia tour didn't go well. He was bowled 6 times in 8 innings!!! If this is any clue, his time has come.

Everyone is waiting for Sachin's 100th century since mid-2011. He was unlucky to miss his century a few times. He got out in 90s, 80s, 70s on England, Australia, West Indies. He got good starts in England in 2nd innings of 3 matches but wasn't able to capitalize on that. He wasn't helped by any on the other end of the pitch in building a partnership. He played well in Australia too in first 2 matches. He was aggressive and hitting the ball well. Among the three, he is the only one who can continue in the team on the basis of merit. But even he should retire after completing his 100th century for every fan's sake. I just hope he wont take another 1 or 2 years to get that. Hopefully he gets it in the current ODI series against Australia. 

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