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2 Nov 2008

Transition phase for Indian Cricket

The ongoing India-Australia test series will be remembered for many things. Sachin Tendulkar's world record of most test runs makes the series part of the history, but the most phenomenal incidents will be the retirement announcement by Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble. Ganguly's retirement was not unexpected, but Kumble's decision has shocked the whole world. He didn't even wait for the termination of the series, that means he won't be playing in the 4th and final test match. This will, however; make easy for the selectors to choose the spinners for the team. In presence of Kumble, it was difficult to select one of either Harbhajan or Amit Mishra. After the sensational performance in the 2nd test by Mishra, he is difficult to be ingnored. And Harbhajan has always created problems for the Aussies. Kumble, being a test captain as well as remarkable performer of Indian team for decade, can't be replaced suddenly. However, his form in the whole series so far reflected that his best days are gone. He claimed only 3 wickets in the 2 matches he played, which is quite unusual for him in the Indian pitches. Perhaps his decision comes in the right time as he can retire with honor.


Ganguly has fought a battle of pride in this series. He had a challenge of proving everyone wrong, who has been claiming his best days are over. And what a good way to do that!!! His score of 102 in the 2nd test paved the way to victory for the Indian team. He is one of the leading performer in the series with 239 runs in 6 innings. His average of 59.75 proves that he still has lots of ability. Now, he can retire with satisfaction.
This incidents open some challenges for the Indian selectors. They have to select the right candidates to replace these giants. Amit Mishra seems to be the right one to handle the spin department, but he has a long way to go before claiming a permanent place in the team. Piyush Chawla and Pragyan Ojha are other choices, but they seem to be lacking experience for the test standard. Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina are the most probables to join the batting lineup after Ganguly, but they also lack consistency and temparament to play in the test matches. So, the selectors will have lots of headaches to make the final decision. We wonder what will be the situation if likes of Sachin and Dravid decide to retire as well!!! This is a transition phase of the Indian Cricket.

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