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The Surfer

Dream is over, time for change

"Indian cricket is in hot water, but it has become hot so slowly that no one has noticed

George Binoy
George Binoy
"Indian cricket is in hot water, but it has become hot so slowly that no one has noticed. But after six away defeats in a row, it is time to shed sentiment and wield the axe," writes Suresh Menon in DNA. "Some veterans will have to be politely asked to hand in their resignations, others will have to be told to perform or perish and youngsters will have to be given the confidence to fill in the rather large shoes."
It is never easy to tell a long-serving employee that his time is up. But it is a job that has to be done, and done with as much dignity as possible. VVS Laxman certainly looks out of it - making big hundreds needs fitness and he doesn’t look the part at the moment. Dravid is not the same player who stood alone on the burning deck in England ... Despite being the oldest player in the world, Dravid is probably the fittest in the Indian team, which is both a tribute to his application and a commentary on the lack of it among the rest.
The hoo-ha over Tendulkar’s 100th century is taking the focus away from the real issue - the batsman’s inability to convert good starts into match-saving, if not match-winning efforts. He continues to look the best batsman in the side 22 years after his debut, and had he completed a century in Sydney, the country would have forgiven India’s first innings batting which cost them the match. Michael Clarke showed India how team victory is more important than individual statistical achievement, but India’s obsession with the individual has always been compensation for collective failure.
Fredun De Vitre,writing in DNA India, asks If Jack Hobbs could defy age, why can’t Tendulkar?
Whilst 38 has conventionally been deemed as the appropriate outer retirement age for even the most gifted cricketers, why should one apply the same yardstick to a genius like Sachin Tendulkar? ... Given his passion for the game, his disciplined life-style, his innate modesty, his level of fitness, why should Tendulkar not break another barrier by playing on at the highest level till he’s say, 45 or even beyond? ... Ultimately, age is only a mental number. One can safely trust Tendulkar to continue to maintain his level of fitness as long as he walks on to a cricket field.
If you are not invested in Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th century — emotionally, financially or otherwise — there’s quite a lot of fun to be had from the drama that surrounds it, says Sumit Chakraberty, writing in the same paper.
There’s the hype that precedes every game, and the sycophancy that follows each failed attempt, as our commentators fall all over themselves in trying to explain away another failed attempt. ‘It’s just a matter of time,’ they proclaim, which is obviously something nobody can dispute; given unlimited time and opportunity, he will get it.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo