Saturday, September 27, 2008

When will we be looking forward to a Test series again?

Agree on some points raised by Mukul Kesavan here. Especially that Rahul Dravid is riding his CV, and that we will probably have a sleepy hollow in Tests in the next few years, or a year at least.

However I think things will be a little more positive than the 'Test will no more be the best' future predicted by Mukul. Yuvraj can still go on to become a very good player if he gains better control on the top six inches of his body. Dhoni, I have always maintained, is likely to be our next great Test batsman. He has already come a long way since I wrote this piece on him and I would like to see him leave the job behind wickets to someone else by the time he is 30 if we are to utilise him fully. Sehwag is no less than the Fab Five (It should always be Fab Five and not Fab Four - 'coz the fifth one is Kumble and he is the greatest of them all). Rohit Sharma will surely be a very good Test bat if he keeps his head in the hour of impending success. Suresh Raina looks like a good all-conditions batasman. The pace bowling should be good in the hands of Ishant, Zaheer, RP Singh & Munaf Patel for the next 3 years.

Yuvraj, I guess, should be the one to make a difference to the future of the Test team. The only question that keeps rearing up in our heads is: will these players consider Tests as worthy as the Fab Five did? I suspect not (other than Dhoni, who I think considers all forms as sacrosanct - inspite of his absence from Tests in SL). And it will be no fault of theirs if they do not give top rating to Test matches. They are not Gods, but simple humans who cannot keep fighting against the tide (dictated by money) over an entire career.

If the new generation of players give in to the demands of the day then we cannot expect to see them playing in Test matches as if there pride depends on it (won't say their 'life depends on it' because it does not). And that, after getting used to the toils of the Fab 5 for 12 years, will be sad.

Update: Going through the post again, I felt the 2nd line of the post gives wrong signals. It suggests I have given up on Rahul Dravid. Far from it. I still believe that he can play well in top flight Test cricket and can claim his place on performance alone for another 2-3 years. It is just that he is not doing so at this point of time, which at age 35 can mean curtains.

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