Mike Holmans January 19, 2009

The Irreplaceables

I will not be surprised if Sachin Tendulkar is replaced fairly quickly
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Politeness dictates that when a long-serving player retires, it is said by all and sundry that he will leave a big hole and be missed greatly. For Shane Warne, it has obviously been true or we wouldn’t have had people wishfully hoping that he might come out of retirement for the 2009 Ashes, but for plenty of others it’s merely a gracious fib.

Nobody will miss the Matt Hayden who played in 2008, for instance. Were the 2007 version still available, it would be a different story, but Hayden’s retirement was that of a man who in earlier times would have been provided with a bottle of whisky and a pearl-handled revolver. After his horrible performances against South Africa, there’s little doubt the selectors would prefer to see Phil Jaques playing instead. Since Jaques had almost established himself before his injury and Katich has since done so, Hayden’s departure simply completes the handover from a great opening partnership to at least a pretty good one.

It is only partly a reflection of the merit of the retiree, though, whether he is missed. Losing the greatest batsman of the age in Viv Richards caused the Windies only a year or so’s worry before Brian Lara exploded on to the scene. Assuming Ajantha Mendis is not this generation’s Narendra Hirwani, Muttiah Muralitharan will be able to make his farewells without inflicting on Sri Lankans the deep feelings of bereavement which Warne’s departure has caused Australians, and Amit Mishra is already easing the pain of Anil Kumble’s passing.

Fred Flintoff was the end of a search for the new Ian Botham which had lasted 20 years – for the first seven or eight of which England made do with the old but very unreliable one. But when Fred rides off, England may well be able to take it in their stride: at least one of Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad and Matt Prior should then be a convincing No. 6 and worthwhile out-cricketer while the other two will make for a very strong lower middle-order.

I will not be surprised if Sachin Tendulkar is replaced fairly quickly. It’s pretty unlikely his successor will be as near to being a replica as Lara was of Viv, but finding a forceful middle-order batsman who can dominate attacks should not be too hard. Despite my long-held doubts about him, it could even be Yuvraj Singh. What will be much more difficult is replacing Rahul Dravid; what’s the betting that five years from now, as India have their third embarrassing collapse in five innings, people will be shaking their heads wondering when a new Wall is going to be erected?

Sometimes, what people miss most is not a player’s primary skill but his back-up. Sanath Jayasuriya was usually unrecognised as the allrounder he was, but his left-arm spin was very much of Test class. From his final really-and-truly retirement until Mendis turned up, Sri Lanka got themselves involved in various experiments involving Farveez Maharoof in an effort to balance the side, with little convincing success. Underwhelmed by his bowling though I remain, it’s not Jacques Kallis’s batting that South Africa will miss. Prince can easily do what Kallis has been producing recently with the bat, and quite probably more, but he is no more a bowler than any of the others in the SA top six (since the spin of Graeme Smith or JP Duminy are little more than mildly amusing jokes), which will leave them rather unbalanced.

But problems like that pale before the humdinger soon to confront West Indies. Where in a group of countries whose batsmen have always accentuated the positive do you find someone to replace Shivnarine Chanderpaul?

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zack on September 14, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    I think what Mike means by comparing Tendulkar and Dravid is that, someone could replace Tendulkar in the sense that they could dominate attacks and play forcefully(ala Yuvraj Singh). They need not be as good as Tendulkar(Yuvraj averages less than Tendulkar) but just fill in for the role. As for the expectation Tendulkar carrys, Yuvraj has done that since he pummeled Australia in his debut series. Dravid's technique, overseas record and ability to see out fiery spells though would be missed sorely as the 20-20 debacle proved.

  • sankar on February 2, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    Mr.Keyur you are just spot on and am myself is a grate fan of test cricket and knows something about it, dravid is the best test player india have ever produced behind Mr.sunny nobody else will come near their class. And mere numbers cann't reflect the value of a player, Sachin may add plenty of runs but the quality of Dravids runs stands apart.

  • VIRARAGHAVAN on February 2, 2009, 5:41 GMT

    I am a fan of both Sachin and Dravid, more so of the former. In the last two decades, Sachin has singlehandedly transformed the way cricket is played, at least from an Indian perspective. The passion he brings to the game while at the crease is still there after all these years.His presence in the dressing room lifts the side. The youngsters look up to him and his is still the wicket all opposition bowlers want. Couple this with the way he has carried himself makes him one of the greatest the game has seen. Forget the katest ICC rankings. Together Dravid and Sachin have shown India can win abroad and consistently at that against the best of teams. Let us not argue as to who is better. Reminds me of the long arguments we used to have about the greatness of Sunny and Viswanath. When Sachin and Dravid finally say goodbye, they will be missed.Let us enjoy them while they are still at it.

  • keyur on February 1, 2009, 18:30 GMT

    i read the above comments and couldn't but think: The crowd and the sachin fans will miss sachin more but the team (and real test fans like me) will miss (are already missing) the steel of dravid. he is one of the chief reasons why india started winning a lot away from home. even if one compares the contributions of sachin and dravid in away wins against good teams, it is clear that india needed dravid to fire to win.people will say batsman dont win you games,but in tests 100s dont count, you need to give the full value of your wicket as per the pitch: be it 233 and 72 in oz 2003, 93 in perth 08, two 50s in jamaica, 270 in pakistan.. thankfully sehwag has taken over the mantle of matchwinner with big knocks(note 151 in oz last match led to draw and 200&50 in galle lead to win.

  • Riverlime on January 29, 2009, 21:27 GMT

    Hey Mike, See what I told you about the boy Barath! He has just confounded England to the tune of 132. And wait till you see Dwayne Bravo's younger brother Darren. (The Bravo brothers come from the same tiny village as a certain BC Lara.)

  • DEEPAK on January 26, 2009, 17:26 GMT

    On a different note. When Sachin is at the crease, its well documented that the Country comes to a standstill. THE STRRETS ARE DESERTED & every person is glued to Tv/radio.Its claimed that the "Crime Rate " rises during this time.!!! Hence ,Will Sachin"s retirement will have the positive influence of bringing this crime-rate DOWN !!!!??? But, I"ll definitely miss watching a Genius .

  • shaz on January 26, 2009, 2:19 GMT

    Man are you serious?? Sanath Jayasuriya will primarily be missed for his bowling?? Have you seen jayasuriya bat, no one in the history of cricket plays the shots he plays! that's what he will be PRIMARILY missed for, his unique strokes! get it right.... this is your job!

  • davo on January 24, 2009, 2:34 GMT

    there is no one like SHIVNARINE CHANDERPAUL...he has the most unique style of batting & has all the credibilities of being the perfect number 4 or 5 batsman in any team or any form of cricket...have any of u ever seen SHIV open in a ONE DAY?wel he change a match in a few minutes!!!!!i am a true west indian & a diehard fan of west indies cricket but the most important thing for all young aspiring windies cricketers is to learn to have DISCIPLINE...because windies are on the rise currently but when SHIV,GAYLE & SARWAN goes,it wil be a tough task for the youngsters.....but the way i see it...GREAT PLAYERS CAN'T BE REPLACED. no one can replace SACHIN,VETTORU,KALLIS,PONTIN,BRIAN CHARLES LARA & of course, SHIVNARINE CHANDERPAUL!

  • Shafaet on January 23, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    Others player may fill the void of players like sachin,kallis on a particular day or two. but how many players got the ability to keep in good form in match after matches, years after years? A guy may replace sachin and play very well in a series or two and then he is very likely to decline in nexr & selectors have think again. but when a player begin to perform in successive years only then he becomes great. in SAF in ODI Albie is doing good wth bat & ball. but can he serve the nation as pollock did for 8-10 years or so?if mendis can keep on his good job as murali did year after year than we may say he replaced murali. dont get overwhelmed by the performance of a year or two. when a player serves his nation in 100+ tests we can easily realise how good he was for the team. dont disparage their contribution to the game by saying that they can be replaced easily. SACHIN,DRAVID,KALLIS,PONTING,SHIV,VETTORy will only be replaced when someone perform like them in good 4-5 years.

  • Riverlime on January 23, 2009, 14:24 GMT

    Tyrone, you and I are both looking forward to this Tour Match. There is much promise there, but the endemic problem is not one of talent or enthusiasm, but of ATTITUDE. They all want to run before they can walk. The recent form of Kieron Pollard springs to mind, since his abilities are obvious but his self-control is non-existent.

  • zack on September 14, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    I think what Mike means by comparing Tendulkar and Dravid is that, someone could replace Tendulkar in the sense that they could dominate attacks and play forcefully(ala Yuvraj Singh). They need not be as good as Tendulkar(Yuvraj averages less than Tendulkar) but just fill in for the role. As for the expectation Tendulkar carrys, Yuvraj has done that since he pummeled Australia in his debut series. Dravid's technique, overseas record and ability to see out fiery spells though would be missed sorely as the 20-20 debacle proved.

  • sankar on February 2, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    Mr.Keyur you are just spot on and am myself is a grate fan of test cricket and knows something about it, dravid is the best test player india have ever produced behind Mr.sunny nobody else will come near their class. And mere numbers cann't reflect the value of a player, Sachin may add plenty of runs but the quality of Dravids runs stands apart.

  • VIRARAGHAVAN on February 2, 2009, 5:41 GMT

    I am a fan of both Sachin and Dravid, more so of the former. In the last two decades, Sachin has singlehandedly transformed the way cricket is played, at least from an Indian perspective. The passion he brings to the game while at the crease is still there after all these years.His presence in the dressing room lifts the side. The youngsters look up to him and his is still the wicket all opposition bowlers want. Couple this with the way he has carried himself makes him one of the greatest the game has seen. Forget the katest ICC rankings. Together Dravid and Sachin have shown India can win abroad and consistently at that against the best of teams. Let us not argue as to who is better. Reminds me of the long arguments we used to have about the greatness of Sunny and Viswanath. When Sachin and Dravid finally say goodbye, they will be missed.Let us enjoy them while they are still at it.

  • keyur on February 1, 2009, 18:30 GMT

    i read the above comments and couldn't but think: The crowd and the sachin fans will miss sachin more but the team (and real test fans like me) will miss (are already missing) the steel of dravid. he is one of the chief reasons why india started winning a lot away from home. even if one compares the contributions of sachin and dravid in away wins against good teams, it is clear that india needed dravid to fire to win.people will say batsman dont win you games,but in tests 100s dont count, you need to give the full value of your wicket as per the pitch: be it 233 and 72 in oz 2003, 93 in perth 08, two 50s in jamaica, 270 in pakistan.. thankfully sehwag has taken over the mantle of matchwinner with big knocks(note 151 in oz last match led to draw and 200&50 in galle lead to win.

  • Riverlime on January 29, 2009, 21:27 GMT

    Hey Mike, See what I told you about the boy Barath! He has just confounded England to the tune of 132. And wait till you see Dwayne Bravo's younger brother Darren. (The Bravo brothers come from the same tiny village as a certain BC Lara.)

  • DEEPAK on January 26, 2009, 17:26 GMT

    On a different note. When Sachin is at the crease, its well documented that the Country comes to a standstill. THE STRRETS ARE DESERTED & every person is glued to Tv/radio.Its claimed that the "Crime Rate " rises during this time.!!! Hence ,Will Sachin"s retirement will have the positive influence of bringing this crime-rate DOWN !!!!??? But, I"ll definitely miss watching a Genius .

  • shaz on January 26, 2009, 2:19 GMT

    Man are you serious?? Sanath Jayasuriya will primarily be missed for his bowling?? Have you seen jayasuriya bat, no one in the history of cricket plays the shots he plays! that's what he will be PRIMARILY missed for, his unique strokes! get it right.... this is your job!

  • davo on January 24, 2009, 2:34 GMT

    there is no one like SHIVNARINE CHANDERPAUL...he has the most unique style of batting & has all the credibilities of being the perfect number 4 or 5 batsman in any team or any form of cricket...have any of u ever seen SHIV open in a ONE DAY?wel he change a match in a few minutes!!!!!i am a true west indian & a diehard fan of west indies cricket but the most important thing for all young aspiring windies cricketers is to learn to have DISCIPLINE...because windies are on the rise currently but when SHIV,GAYLE & SARWAN goes,it wil be a tough task for the youngsters.....but the way i see it...GREAT PLAYERS CAN'T BE REPLACED. no one can replace SACHIN,VETTORU,KALLIS,PONTIN,BRIAN CHARLES LARA & of course, SHIVNARINE CHANDERPAUL!

  • Shafaet on January 23, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    Others player may fill the void of players like sachin,kallis on a particular day or two. but how many players got the ability to keep in good form in match after matches, years after years? A guy may replace sachin and play very well in a series or two and then he is very likely to decline in nexr & selectors have think again. but when a player begin to perform in successive years only then he becomes great. in SAF in ODI Albie is doing good wth bat & ball. but can he serve the nation as pollock did for 8-10 years or so?if mendis can keep on his good job as murali did year after year than we may say he replaced murali. dont get overwhelmed by the performance of a year or two. when a player serves his nation in 100+ tests we can easily realise how good he was for the team. dont disparage their contribution to the game by saying that they can be replaced easily. SACHIN,DRAVID,KALLIS,PONTING,SHIV,VETTORy will only be replaced when someone perform like them in good 4-5 years.

  • Riverlime on January 23, 2009, 14:24 GMT

    Tyrone, you and I are both looking forward to this Tour Match. There is much promise there, but the endemic problem is not one of talent or enthusiasm, but of ATTITUDE. They all want to run before they can walk. The recent form of Kieron Pollard springs to mind, since his abilities are obvious but his self-control is non-existent.

  • Tyrone on January 23, 2009, 13:26 GMT

    Riverlime, as I said before it is my hope that the lad can grow into a succesfull cricketer eventually, with the WICB new age selection policy though he will not see a test call up for a while, which is good, give him time to build a career and earn a call up. I dont know about no one in the Lara mold though because i think Darren Bravo is in that mold, had a look at the guy during the Stanford series and he was pretty impressive. He will be playing in that A team match as well and he should be exciting. Not too sure about the fast bowlers though that cupboard still looks pretty empty, but hopefully Kemar Roach will be the real deal and not fall by the wayside like so many others.

  • Riverlime on January 22, 2009, 23:17 GMT

    Tyrone, I admit that Barath has been erratic of late, but wouldn't YOU be if you were doing your A-Levels? The other lad to look out for is Kieron Powell (different from Kieron Pollard), who is of the Gayle mould. So far none of the Lara mould though. It seems that a Curtly replica is also needed. Ah well, hope springs eternal. To any interested observer, the Tour Match England plays against West Indies A from 29 Jan will comprise the backbone of future WI teams, with the average age being 21. (the openers Barath and Powell are both still 18 and they seem to play well in partnership).

  • Tyrone on January 22, 2009, 15:41 GMT

    Replacing Shiv in the West Indies is going to be quite dificult, Riverlime the fact is that Barath has a long way to go and while the hope is that he will grow into that position eventually, his current form is quite erratic. However it took shiv quite some time to become the player that he is now, so there may be hope for the lad. It is our hope that Marlon Samuels will return to the game older, smarter and more consistent as he has already showed that he can play for a long time and accumulate runs, also keep your eyes on Brendon Nash who also has shown he has the patience and mental toughness to battle for runs during tough times.

  • whiteknight on January 22, 2009, 9:12 GMT

    It is very difficult, if not impossible, to replace cricketers who have attained genuine, consensual greatness with like-for-like players. However, I'll agree with Rob heinen that players chosen to represent their country are good enough in their own right. It would be really churlish on our part to compare them with the legends. It would also be really unfair to them to start calling them as the next Hayden, Warne, Akram etc. What we need to understand that these players, however great they may be, are nothing more than servants of the game, which was, is and will continue to be bigger than all the players it has produced.

  • mahindra on January 22, 2009, 0:29 GMT

    i personally think that sachin is the greatest batsman of his era and replacing him will be difficult.However life must go on and even bradman,richards,gavaskar ,warne and a host of other outstanding players have had to finally leave the stage.In relation to chanderpaul I agree that young adrain bharat will definitely replace and him without much trouble.With regards to dravid and tendulkar they will be replaced by pujara,tiwary,rahane,badrinauth,akash chopra and a few other exciting youngsters.The future is still still looking bright.

  • Roy on January 21, 2009, 23:40 GMT

    Oooh ,poor West Indies. The mere thought of Shiv Chanderpaul retiring should send shivers(pardon the pun) down the spines of every West-Indian. My guess is that after Chanderpaul retires West Indies will find themselves even below ,gradually improving, Bangladesh in the test rankings . Not so? The current crop of young West- Indians suggest otherwise. Not only do they lack the patience and determination to be successful at regional, far less at international level, but their attitude SUCKS.

  • DEEPAK on January 21, 2009, 17:45 GMT

    AGREE WITH ALL THE PROS & CONS OF Sachin & Dravid" retirement. BUT FOR SHEER charisma & crowd pulling capacity , Sachin was & is unparralled in the last two decades.He alone has been responsible for the resurgence of Indian cricket , single handed & more so than anyone else.thanks for the memories.

  • Anand on January 21, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    Amol Mazumdar and Wasim Jaffer could have replaced Rahul ? Someone must be kidding. Amol does not find a place in Mumbai team? Wasim after having given many a chances ruined it by playing too carelessly. Making most of it is what counts. Dravid is no Lara or Sachin. But he is as good or better in terms of playing an innings which led to India's wins. It was on his efforts many a wins were architected by India in this millenium. Lets accept fact. For sheer joy & creating a theatre out of cricket stadium, no one comes near to Sir Brian Charles Lara & shan(m)e warne. But each of Mark Vaugh's centuries except 1-2 led an aussi victory.

    There are subtle things that authot has tried to point out. Lets respect that.

  • anil on January 21, 2009, 9:22 GMT

    and Dhoni not there in ur team, the man would make it to any team solely for his captaincy skills.........agreed dhoni has no real technique, but he has got a very cool head and more than that he knows his limitations more than anyone else.........i dont think jayawardene wud ever be even half as good as dhoni, both as a wicketkeeper and a useful middle order batsman....

  • Anil on January 21, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    well Sachin can be replaced? do u have any idea of what the mere presence of sachin does to the dressing room......and when the going gets tough someone who cud change momentum on hard pitches?? Lara Sahcin are once in a life time players.........u dont even deserve to write this blog, if mer enumebr smeant everything then Kallis is the greatest allrounder ever and ur ponting finest post bradman batamsn

  • Nish on January 21, 2009, 1:35 GMT

    I envision a 2012 batting line-up reading: Virender Sehwag Gautam Gambhir Ajinkya Rahane Cheteshwar Pujara Virat Kohli/Rohit Sharma Manoj Tiwary M.S. Dhoni Chawla/Mishra Harbhajan/Ojha Zaheer Khan Ishant Sharma

    I personally believe they would do quite well. The good thing about Pujara is that he has a hunger for runs, he doesn't like getting out. Rahane's first class average of 65 is really good. Kohli and Sharma are both a bit inconsistent but they are big-game players as we saw in the Ranji final where Rohit Sharma hit hundreds in both innings. Tiwary is more reliable than Yuvraj as a Ganguly replacement. Dhoni captain of course. I like the Chawla/Ojha combo but they'll have to work hard to get in and then of course the dynamic pace duo of Zaheer/Ishant.

  • Mahek on January 20, 2009, 23:40 GMT

    If I were to pick each test side's Most Valuable Player, the list would read as follows:

    South Africa: Graeme Smith Australia: Ricky Ponting India: Virender Sehwag England: Andrew Flintoff Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara Pakistan: Younis Khan New Zealand: Daniel Vettori West Indies: Shivnarine Chanderpaul

  • Mahek on January 20, 2009, 23:36 GMT

    No test team needs a "blocker". That is just not how today's test cricket is. You could have someone who can be solid but he also needs to ensure his partner, who might be more attacking, gets more of the strike.

    The Indian innings has followed a very predictable pattern over the past few months. The openers give the side a rousing start, Dravid comes in and the wind is knocked out the sails, with either him or his partner getting out soon after.

    There is a certain VVS Laxman who should have got the number 3 spot in 2007 itself but is still batting at 5 or 6. He can be utilised much better at number 3, it would also save us from watching him bat clueless with the tail. You can then have Badrinath at 5, and yes he has earned the right to that spot ahead of Pujara, Raina, Sharma, and Tiwary.

  • Riverlime on January 20, 2009, 20:52 GMT

    Mike, There IS another of the Chanderpaul mould playing in the West Indian islands. Have you already forgotten about Lara's little protege? Keep your eyes peeled for 18 year old Adrian Barath. He will be opening for the tour match against England next week.

    [Mike: Excellent. Thanks for the tip.]

  • arun on January 20, 2009, 20:30 GMT

    i believe it will not crumble. Such batsmen like Mr. Gambhir, sehwag, dhoni, yuvraj and newcomers, murali vijay, suresh raina, rohit sharma, virat kohli will do a splendid job. Just because tendulkar and dravid have experience does not mean that they will not be irreplacable. Dravid this past year had been dreadful. The century he hit against England is what saved him. Cheteshwar Pujara is splendid batsmen from Saurashtra. I agree entirely with "Raj" post. Also chitraj Singh's post. Lets not forget, that Gautam Gambhir is just an unbelievable opener along with a mature Sehwag, Indias most dynamic duo apart from Tendulkar/Dravid, Tendulkar/Ganguly. Im not saying they are equal, but Im saying that they are as good as a duo as can be. India should be thankful they have VVS Laxman. If he is healthy he could be of some use against Aussies, England, etc.

  • Newnose on January 20, 2009, 15:07 GMT

    Just as Hayden of 2008, nobody (but India's opponents) should miss Dravid of 2008 (or for that matter 2007, 2006). A great player no doubt, but sooner he goes, the better it is.

  • Raj on January 20, 2009, 13:54 GMT

    There are some greats who will emerge. Regarding Rahul there are immediate replacements in Cheteshwar Pujara, Sharma etc. Its about we see some new faces; I for one is getting bored seeing some greats languishing

  • Chitraj Singh on January 20, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    I completely agree with the fact that Tendulkar can be replaced at a 'playing' level. However, Sachin has a backup skill which will be sorely missed. I am not talking about bowling or fielding but rather the ability he had to instill belief and confidence. It has often been the case (perhaps less in recent years)that when Tendulkar collapses, India collapses! Not because India lacks skill but only because Tendulkar personifies a certain confidence which only a person of legendary proportions can.

    So Yes- aggressive middle order batsmen with hunger for runs are a dime a dozen. But an aggressive middle order batsman with a positive spillover effect on the rest of the team dont come around too often- and is based on a reputation that has to be earned. Other Indian players of recent years who have earned this are Dravid and Kumble. In that sense, India will have certain holes to fill- and the newer bunch have realise that excellence is innate but reputaion has to be earned.

    [Mike: It's a very good point, but I'd suggest that one out, all out is now less likely for India than in the 90s. In the team of the future, my guess is that they will value Gambhir's solidity and take their inspiration from Dhoni.]

  • Roscoe on January 20, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    The classic Dravid is already MIA, but India will miss Sehwag more. They didn't start beating Australia until Sehwag was restored to the team.

    In Australia, it's not really losing Hayden that is the problem. Hayden is the 6th great to go, 7 if you count MacGill who would have been great in any other era & had a fantastic test record. Only Ponting & maybe Lee are left. Hard work for the selectors.

    NZ really miss Bond. And what will they do when Vettori goes? His back is said to be dodgy.

    The Pakis badly miss a great quick, as Akram & Waqar were, Akhtar sometimes. They are really suffering from Mohammed Asif losing his way.

    Kallis is such a valuable bowler only because SAfrica don't currently have a world class spinner. But how will they go if Smith has a lengthy absence?

    Teams eventually find their feet with a new cast of characters. I feel sure that even the WIndies will be back to strength one day, with some new truly fearsome quicks. Let's hope so anyway.

  • john Boon on January 20, 2009, 12:10 GMT

    @DPC 10000 test runs at 56 and 250 test wickets at 33 will be sorely missed!!!!!!

  • Mike Holmans on January 20, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    @Ross - no, the NZ team is not full of holes. It's full of young players who are in no danger of needing replacement for years.

    @Mahek and some others: it may well be that Dravid is already MIA as Hayden has been, which only makes things worse. I just feel, like HL Cadambi, that India seem more geared up to producing Sachin-a-likes than Dravid/Gavaskar-a-likes at the moment, so finding a quality blocker (and every team needs one for Test cricket) may be a lot harder than finding a quality dominator. Though Jaffer has had a fantastic Ranji season ....

  • Sidharth on January 20, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    Sachin WILL BE SORELY MISSED! SUPER-PERIOD!!!!!

  • DPC on January 20, 2009, 10:37 GMT

    I don't agree that it will be tough to replace Jacques Kallis. If Albie Morkel repeats his ODI performance into the longer format, then he could be the best one to replace Kallis.

  • rob heinen on January 20, 2009, 10:23 GMT

    What are you on about? The fact that stars need to be replaced doesn't mean that they have to be replaced by themselves. Star will come and stars will go. Every - and I mean every - player chosen to play for their country is an outstanding cricketer in his own right. Eevery player chosen to play for his country has earned his place in history. Period. This article is just written because the writer didn't want to sink into anonimity. Mike, you've earned your place in history, just by claiming space on the internet with the words above. Congratulations!

  • Marcus on January 20, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    Ross

    New Zealand's biggest hole was definitely when Mark Richardson left a few years ago, since when that openers' spot hasn't really been satisfactorily filled. But hopefully that'll change with McIntosh and Guptill.

    At least their middle-order's starting to look really solid, with Flynn, Taylor and Ryder all starting to make Test runs before they're under 25.

  • Sachin's Fan on January 20, 2009, 8:57 GMT

    I am quite sure that Tendulkar won't retire before the World Cup in ODI's and he may play test cricket till the end of that world cup year. He is 35 and a half and can play till 38 and a half as long as he remains fit. In supplementation, India aren't playing a lot of test cricket in the next two years so I am sure he can cope.

  • Ravi on January 20, 2009, 8:21 GMT

    Akash Chopra for Rahul Dravid, anyone?

  • Madan on January 20, 2009, 7:48 GMT

    What Mahek said. We have been having great success with Dravid merely a shadow of The Wall he was and I doubt his physical presence alone does a lot to hold the batting together. We will miss Viru most, but that's thankfully far away for now.

  • Mohan on January 20, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    Agree with Nish. Add Jaffer to his list of candidates who can easily replace Dravid. In fact, during Dravid's career itself there was another equally capable middle order batsman - Amol Muzumdar - who could have filled Dravid's boots if there was a need.

  • Sekhar on January 20, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    Similar questions are being raised about the successor to Glenn McGrath.We have seen Mitchell Johnson excelling in tests in the past one year and it would only be a matter of time before he establishes himself as Australia's Flintoff (he can bat well,mind you).For the record,even McGrath and Warne struggled in their initial few matches.

  • Mahek on January 20, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    Quite odd that Mike thinks the Hayden of 2008 wouldn't be missed but the Dravid of 2008 would. Aren't we missing Dravid's steel already inspite of him being in the side?

  • Ross on January 20, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    Is the author of the opinion that New Zealand is just holes, because that isn't true...

  • Nish on January 20, 2009, 5:23 GMT

    I think more astute observations of the Indian domestic scene would reveal that there are many fine young players in India who could do the job in the future. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Badrinath, Manoj Tiwary all spring to mind and let us not forget Akash Chopra

  • H L Cadambi on January 20, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    Shiva, I tend to agree with Mike Holmans. India has a number of players of the Tendulkar-type; none of them may be anywhere near as good as SRT, but they will serve the team cause adequately. But India will find it very difficult to find a Dravid-type to replace RD - a no.3, who is solid, good in a crisis, builds innings, can play long innings. These very characteristics are in very short supply in an India that is sold on T20 and one-dayers, and adores stroke players and does not admire more stodgy players. Indeed, yr comment adds weight to what I say!!! This is not about who is better, Sachin or Rahul; it is about which type of player is easier to find.

  • shiva on January 20, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    apparently if we listen to you sachin tendulkar is easier to replace then rahul dravid who came pretty damn close to being dropped. I am sure india will do fine even when sachin is gone but he is a once in a lifetime player unlike dravid.

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  • shiva on January 20, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    apparently if we listen to you sachin tendulkar is easier to replace then rahul dravid who came pretty damn close to being dropped. I am sure india will do fine even when sachin is gone but he is a once in a lifetime player unlike dravid.

  • H L Cadambi on January 20, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    Shiva, I tend to agree with Mike Holmans. India has a number of players of the Tendulkar-type; none of them may be anywhere near as good as SRT, but they will serve the team cause adequately. But India will find it very difficult to find a Dravid-type to replace RD - a no.3, who is solid, good in a crisis, builds innings, can play long innings. These very characteristics are in very short supply in an India that is sold on T20 and one-dayers, and adores stroke players and does not admire more stodgy players. Indeed, yr comment adds weight to what I say!!! This is not about who is better, Sachin or Rahul; it is about which type of player is easier to find.

  • Nish on January 20, 2009, 5:23 GMT

    I think more astute observations of the Indian domestic scene would reveal that there are many fine young players in India who could do the job in the future. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Badrinath, Manoj Tiwary all spring to mind and let us not forget Akash Chopra

  • Ross on January 20, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    Is the author of the opinion that New Zealand is just holes, because that isn't true...

  • Mahek on January 20, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    Quite odd that Mike thinks the Hayden of 2008 wouldn't be missed but the Dravid of 2008 would. Aren't we missing Dravid's steel already inspite of him being in the side?

  • Sekhar on January 20, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    Similar questions are being raised about the successor to Glenn McGrath.We have seen Mitchell Johnson excelling in tests in the past one year and it would only be a matter of time before he establishes himself as Australia's Flintoff (he can bat well,mind you).For the record,even McGrath and Warne struggled in their initial few matches.

  • Mohan on January 20, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    Agree with Nish. Add Jaffer to his list of candidates who can easily replace Dravid. In fact, during Dravid's career itself there was another equally capable middle order batsman - Amol Muzumdar - who could have filled Dravid's boots if there was a need.

  • Madan on January 20, 2009, 7:48 GMT

    What Mahek said. We have been having great success with Dravid merely a shadow of The Wall he was and I doubt his physical presence alone does a lot to hold the batting together. We will miss Viru most, but that's thankfully far away for now.

  • Ravi on January 20, 2009, 8:21 GMT

    Akash Chopra for Rahul Dravid, anyone?

  • Sachin's Fan on January 20, 2009, 8:57 GMT

    I am quite sure that Tendulkar won't retire before the World Cup in ODI's and he may play test cricket till the end of that world cup year. He is 35 and a half and can play till 38 and a half as long as he remains fit. In supplementation, India aren't playing a lot of test cricket in the next two years so I am sure he can cope.