Thursday, November 6, 2008

The end of an era in Indian cricket

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

When Anil Kumble announced his retirement in Delhi one thing was sure, India's Awesome Five would never take the field together again. With Sourav Ganguly playing his last test match in Nagpur it is the end of an era in Indian cricket.
To get such quality players again will be tough and to get such players together in the same dressing room a herculean task.

In the last eight years Indian cricket has seen some of its most glorious moments. Gone are those days when we could win test matches only on dusty Indian tracks. It started under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly India began to look at the eye of the opposition. They rejected to bow down when opposition captains tried to mentally disintegrate them. If a abuse was throw at them they were prepared to return it with interest. If a football like nude body display was done, a fitting reply was given in the 'Mecca of Cricket'

Be it winning the Eden test after following on or defeating Australia at Adelaide during the 2003-04 tour, Indian cricket reached greater heights. These bunch of cricketers won the first test and one day series ever in Pakistan in early 2004. In Johannesburg in 2006 they made the South Africans do a Salsa on the pitch winning the first ever test there. Defeating the not so might West Indies in the island after a gap of 35 years was precious. The best was preserved for the might Aussies when Ricky Ponting's team was tamed in Perth considered to be the fastest pitch in the world.

It is only a mater of time when Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman will also call it a day. The most formidable batting line up will see the old war horses retire and new blokes taking their place. It will be a huge challenge for the young guns to settle into the big shoes. Having guys like these in the dressing room is not advantageous because of their cricketing skills but because how they mentally approach the game and conduct it on and off the field.

With Kumble joining the dressing room Nagpur, it will be one last sight of these legendary players together. Being a fan of the game many like me will never want this test to end. How can an Indian dressing room not have Sourav, Kumble and other seniors. But all good things have to come to an end and so will Sourav and Kumble's career. A win against the Aussies will be fitting tribute to the legacy of Sourav and Kumble. No one is bigger than the game and the game will find its new champions but legends do retire from the field not from the heart of their fans.


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