LIFE AFTER DRAVID AND LAXMAN?
While other people are waiting for the Indian Test summer to begin, I am dreading it. I am honestly dreading the moment when the Indian cricket team will walk into Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at
, dressed in pristine whites. I am dreading the moment when MS Dhoni and Ross Taylor will head for toss. I am dreading the moment when Dhoni will announce Hyderabad ’s playing XI. But most of all I am dreading the moment when India will come in to bat and the first (and then third) wicket will fall. When Rahul Dravid will not come in to bat. India
For as long as I have watched cricket, I have never seen an Indian Test team without Rahul Dravid. And though this betrays my age and ignores the minimal matches he missed due to injury, it is true. I have never been upset at the fall of
’s first wicket, ever, even when Viru-Gauti were on song. Because my favourite batsman walked in at No. 3. And tomorrow if India bat first and Chris Martin or Neil Wagner clean up Virender Sehwag or Gautam Gambhir, and some Indian batsman walks into the middle, I for one will watch with wistful eyes. To make matter worse, when the third wicket will fall, VVS Laxman will not walk in. And what happens when India is fielding? Who will stand in the slip cordon? Who will be standing behind Dhoni, alongside Tendulkar? The emo Indian cricket tragic in me weeps, how will I ever watch India play Test cricket again?!?! India
Will we ever be able to replace the indispensable duo of RSD-VVS? It has been almost four years since Sourav Ganguly retired and we still haven’t managed to have a settled No. 6 batsman. Will we find a batsman with the potential to take up the crucial No. 3 spot, let alone No. 5? The answer is no. I don not think
will ever manage to find two batsmen with the calibre of Dravid and Laxman to play Test cricket at the same time. But I wholeheartedly believe that India will find two batsmen good enough to take up the No. 3 and 5 slot, in Indian conditions, and deliver a worthy performance. Being an Indian cricket fan, I am an eternal optimist. And I believe that there will be life after Dravid and Laxman. Not a successful one maybe, but a satisfactory one. India
So when the Indian team is announced at the toss tomorrow, I am going to try my best to not feel let down. Because if the two guys who will replace the two greatest Indian batsmen of our era, are considered good enough by Dravid and Laxman, then they are good enough for me. So tomorrow whoever walks in at No. 3 and No. 5 will have my full support. Be it Subramaniam Badrinath, Chesteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina or Virat Kohli, I sincerely hope that 10-15 years down the line, some other fangirl will write similar tributes for them. As for now, I will watch the Test match tomorrow, filled with dread, and hope. Hope that there will be life after Dravid and Laxman for