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Its All Cricket - by navaneeth


People want Sachin to retire but Cricket wants Sachin...

Write in my blog:
People want Sachin to retire now as he is not performing well and in the same way people wanted Ponting to retire and he did it .Now people have a new question in mind: Who is going to fill the big boots of Ponting in the Australian line up and whether youngsters can do it?

These are the questions that strikes people mind. When people wanted someone to retire, they should have known the replacement for that person but the question of replacements comes only after criticizing a player on his current form. Is this correct?

Ponting was in such a pressure situation that he said in the press conference that he had taken decision to retire, not the selectors. What made the press ask him such a question? Pity a legend of his generation had to answer such a question after showing his classy batting and aggressive captaincy to the world of cricket for more than 17 years in international career.

If the same batsman was having a lean patch 10 years earlier every one of us wanted him to raise to the occasion and score runs but if the same batsman is getting old people want him to retire and sit back at home and forget his passion that he have lived for.

I don’t disagree with that for sure as there is no point in finding form at the age of retiring and it’s like reducing chances for a few youngsters who deserve to play more than what they are playing. But I sincerely think that all the legends have seen ups and downs in their life better than anyone else and these are guys who can help the team to rise to the occasion and perform.

The experience of these players always helps the team and players individually to perform at their best. These players became legends after other legends gave a chance for them. Surely, Ponting & co. know the value of a chance to a youngster and they will never play a match more than they deserve to play as they have seen the fall of legends themselves.

These legends are the ones who will not let youngsters get carried away after scoring runs as they have seen the consequences of people getting carried away. These legends have seen people retiring at wrong times and hence have seen the fall of the nation. These legends will make sure there will be a smooth transition to the next generation.

At one point of time, the mighty Australian side was considered unbeatable and was the best in both formats of the game (no T20 at the time) for a span of 10 years under the captaincy of Steve Waugh. A team which had the likes of Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, etc.

But after these legends retired, the unbeatable Australian side became powerless and Ricky is the one who stood high and carried the team forward. He has been the reason for the rise of many youngsters like Watson, Warner, Marsh and Cowan.

He has risen to occasions and scored runs for the team in pressure situations and has been an inspiration for youngsters all his life. The World Cup 2011 QF against India in 2011 is a perfect example; all the youngsters were under pressure and he rose to the occasion and scored a century in the knock out match. Though Australia lost the match, he was the stand out performer of the match.

India was one of the best teams on paper from 2008-2011 in terms of batting. Probably every captain had at least a couple of sleepless nights when they were playing against India as Sachin, Dravid, Laxman could win matches single-handedly; worse, if they were all at their peak and performed together, then it would be unimaginable to think about the position of the poor opposition skipper.

Australians know this better than anyone as Dravid and Laxman won a match against them from having a huge deficit and being asked to follow on (Kolkata 2001). There was nothing wrong with the Ozzies’ bowlers; these legends were just too good for them. But now the same Indian team which was considered unbeatable at home lost to a team which is having a very bad record in subcontinent after 2 legends, VVS and Dravid retired.

But it is not the same when it comes to ODIs. Sachin has carried the burden of the nation very well in ODIs, being one of the main architects in building this consistent Indian ODI team with the mixture of youngsters and experienced players. It was a dream comes true for most of the youngsters to play with Sachin.
So there was no point in getting carried away after seeing Sachin still down to earth after scoring tons of runs. So the team is consistent, my point here is combination of seniors and youngsters is very important in making a very good team and if Sachin might have retired earlier the Indian team we know now might not have been as good.

A replacement for legends has always been tough. Australians have still not found the perfect replacements for McGrath, Warne and Gilchrist while Clarke, Ponting and Mike Hussey have tried to fill the boots so their absence would not be missed.

There may not always be a replacement however. Here’s a great quote from one of the world’s finest batsman on Muralitharan’s retirement
There’s only one Murali. There can be no other. – Kumar Sangakkara
So as you can see, Sangakkara believed that it was time Sri Lanka moves on from its past glory with Murali and find new talent. Even the Lankans have not got a proper “replacement” yet though.

Indians have still not found the replacements for Ganguly who retired 4 years back; there were quite a few good performances (Yuvraj being one) but none were consistent. India’s current position is not too pleasing as two more all-time greats Dravid and Laxman had retired earlier this year which left a huge hole in the batting order.

It is a good note for young-guns – like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara – but the team lacks in experience .With only 3 good Test match seniors in Sachin, Gambhir and Sehwag – all of who are not in great form- there is a lot of pressure on youngsters. If Sachin also retires then who should support youngsters when they are facing nerves. Every youngster have a lot of pressure playing their first match, nearing a century .Test matches are about big scores if these youngsters give away the well composed wicket when they near the century due to nerves, Team is the loser and Sachin is the one who can negotiate by taking to the youngsters.West Indies had never found the replacements of their greats like Richards, Sobers, and Lara etc.

Ponting had taken his time in building the team after the retirement of the legends of the Australian team and bred Clarke into a very good captain who has led the team leading from the front and a consistent middle order batsman who can bat well with the lower order.

So he thought it’s his time to leave as he is not at his best but we cannot expect the replacement as early as this but we can just hope everything is for the good and expect a better replacement.

Philip Hughes has been named the replacement for Ponting, but for how long only one can wonder. Hughes and Ponting are incomparable, in fact it is ATM not appropriate to call Hughes Ponting’s successor, yet he will want to prove his doubters wrong.

It is the same with the Indian team as there are quite a few youngsters who have showed their character and class in international cricket like Kohli, Pujara, & co. and we just have to hope they play quality cricket consistently and start “replacing” the new legends.

That is, if legends can be replaced.
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