India news March 9, 2012

Next generation more capable than me - Dravid


Rahul Dravid, who announced his retirement from international and domestic cricket on Friday, has said the next few years will be interesting and challenging times for Indian cricket and that he believed the next generation of batsmen are capable of achieving more than he had.

Dravid's retirement has coincided with India's worst phase as a Test team in recent times, having lost eight consecutive Tests in England and Australia and mixed results in one-dayers. Fans and the media have been calling for either a phased or complete revamp of India's batting line-up and Dravid's step was the first high-profile departure in the aftermath of the Australia tour. Dravid admitted that the results were painful but said India's future looks healthy.

"We are all disappointed by the fact that we didn't do well in England and Australia, not just for the cricketers, but for people all around," Dravid said. "Having said that, I feel Indian cricket is in a good place and I think there are some really exciting young talents coming through. As to who will replace me, there are some waiting in the wings who can definitely step up and take over."

Dravid was India's best batsman in England in 2011 by a fair distance. However, he suffered an unexpected slump in Australia, scoring 194 runs in four Tests at 24.25. The seniors were persisted with in all four Tests despite failing, while the in-form Rohit Sharma was benched. Virat Kohli's century in Adelaide, which was followed by a passionate and uninhibited celebration, only increased the calls for phasing out the seniors for accommodating more youngsters. Dravid said talent is not in short supply in India.

"They've got all the talent and skills required to achieve success at this level," Dravid said. "When I look back at myself as a 23-year-old when I played for India, and when I look at the talent on show now, I just know that I was nowhere near as talented as some of these kids.

"Just being talented doesn't necessarily mean you will have a successful Test career. There are a lot of things that go with it, how you face the challenges and deal with things that are more internal than external. I think it will be interesting and really fun for me, as I sit back on my couch, to watch some of these young players try to establish themselves over the next two to three years."

Besides Kohli and Rohit, the batsmen vying for the vacancies in India's Test batting line-up, at No.3 and No.6, include Suresh Raina, Cheteshwar Pujara, Manoj Tiwary, Ravindra Jadeja and S Badrinath. However, nobody has firmly established himself in the line-up (Jadeja is yet to play a Test), due to reasons varying from injury, to form, inconsistency in selection and adaptability in foreign conditions. Dravid said he was fortunate his generation was able to nail down a position in the line-up over a period of time.

"If you look at my generation, Sachin, Laxman, Sourav, Viru (Sehwag), Gauti (Gambhir)...we were able to establish ourselves. It makes a big difference. If you have people coming in and out, what that means is you are not performing well and it leads to instability. It's going to be a challenging, interesting time to see how these kids end up."

Dravid stopped short of naming a particular player capable of replacing him. "I wouldn't like to name one Indian player. I think there is a huge group of players that can be better than Rahul Dravid. I'm sure in 16-17 years' time you will be attending a press conference of a player who has probably done a lot more than I have."

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al on March 12, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    Virat Kholi has already claimed # 3 spot. In his short career he has already achieved more than 10dulkar and Dravid achieved at a similar point in their careers. We need to find replacements for 10dulkar and Laxman. I think between Pujara, Tiwary, Rohit Sharma, Badrinath, and Mohd Kaif, we have enough talent. Nobody in his right mind would consider Raina or Jadeja as test material. But you know our selectors.

  • Ashok on March 12, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    It is sad to see Dravid retiring. But then all careers come to an end one day. A bold but right decision in - a typical Dravid fashion. Rahul was one of the greatest India batsmen of all times & technically perfect - only matched by Gavaskar in defence. Along with Gavaskar, Tendulkar & Sehwag,Dravid is the top notch 4 Indian batmen of all times.The records of these 4 speak for themselves - each being unique at his own technique- though different in styles. There is a wealth of talent awaiting in the background but they all lack experience. Pujara, M.Tiwary, Rohit Sharma, Rahane, Mandeep singh are all waiting to break in. Also there are guys like Mukund, Karthick, Badrinath who have been in & quickly discarded by the Selectors. So Dravid is right when he says there is lot of talent & they deserve to show it by performance. How can they show when they are benched? Tiwary was in the squad but benched for 8 games in a row! Only way is to develop 3 different format teams to include ALL!

  • Jyotirmoy on March 12, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    @RDFan I think you are more inclined towards banking & finance and that shows in your lack of knowledge about cricket. Your ideas are completely biased towards RD and nothing else. If you see in an unbiased manner you will find there is no so called void in the team, this actually is just a passing phase which has left wonderful memories of test cricket. Just wait for the next series of Aus where these youngsters (without BIG THREE/seniors) gonna will see the results. And don't worry your wish of making test a 25 over event will never come true as ICC is not a fool. About Dhoni, don't forget that India reached there first ever and (only) No.1 test ranking spot in the captaincy of Dhoni!

  • kan on March 12, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    Dravid is an absolute legend, he is one of finest, greatest cricketer World have ever produced, 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs !!! and he is so humble, gentleman, great ambassador of the game. his technique is best in the world and so is his slip catching, it will be big boot to fill, Pujara should be like for like replacement.

  • AYush on March 12, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    I want Pujara to replace him.. not some Rohit Sharma or Suresh Raina

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    the great wall is no more in indian cric team.. hope youngsters wiill fill the space.

  • theo on March 11, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    Greatest Indian batsmen during his career!! I say this as an SA person. He was better than Sachin in many many aspects. Whenever India came to tour SA, it was DRAVID who we wanted to get out the most, not ST. His flexibility and sheer determination are attributes I will forever admire. Enjoy retirement, you have earned it. and please tell your friend, Sachin... to start packing his bags.. enough is enough.

  • Rual on March 11, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    @JBIndia, well man, don't know if I am a risk taker or not, but have you not heard about these big risk taking banks collapsing to bring this credit crunch, or may be you were too busy watching cricket... anyways, the point is and will remain, will india be able to fill the void created by RD now and later for SRT/Lax. its too much to ask it seems for. you might say oh you have kohli, raina, jadeja, sharma, etc. oh I so much wish that test cricket was a 25 over event for the sake of these guys. the key thing is are these guys interested in test cricket? dhoni has already hinted, he isn't. so big questions....

  • Al on March 11, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    Agree with @JBIndia - people praising 10dulkar, Dravid and VVS highlight their successes and hide their recent blunders. There's no doubt they were gr8 in their prime. But, in the past 2 series they played like mediocre 3rd rate batsmen. Dravid, being a gentleman, retired on his own. If the remaining 2 don't retire on their own, they need to be dropped. If they really like playing cricket, they can play in Ranji Trophy.

  • Jyotirmoy on March 11, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    @KillDevil I guess you only want to highlight Dravid's success and hide his recent blunders. Because may be u watch only those matches where RD make runs! Can you count how many times in the recent matches he was BOWLED? Even he admitted that his reflexes are getting bad. So why don't let the young blood do the job now. Dravid was gr8 is gr8 and will remain gr8 there is no doubt abt it. But his time is over. @csowmi7 you r right every player dreams to get his test cap from sachin or dravid but the thing is I can't see this happening in recent times. I can't remember a single test match in last 2-3 yrs where any one of these three are rested to get a young player in. They r doing the rotation only in ODIs. Lax was so pathetic in this australia series still Rohit was not allowed to get in his place, not even in a single test. So only choice left is they have to go. If not by there own will then somebody has to tell them.

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