India and life after Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar was quite a handy cricketer. Everyone in agreement? Good, let’s move on. That’s the task facing the Indian cricket team as it takes its first steps forwards without a man who has been a fixture in the side for 20 years.

Ajinkya Rahane should be given the opportunity to replace Tendulkar in the Test team

But how much will Tendulkar be missed? His form over the past three years has, and I’m been generous here, been patchy. A lack of competition and reverential treatment made him untouchable. In the last three years he has averaged 37.58 in Test cricket and mustered only two centuries, both of which were on the 2010/11 tour of South Africa, a three Test affair that ended 1-1. Remove South Africa from the list and Sachin averages 33.07 with no centuries in the last three years. Not really justifying his place, there, is he?

India have two huge tours ahead of them now. Two Tests in South Africa followed by five in England next summer. There will be no Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman or Tendulkar. This is a brave new era of Indian cricket that is being spearheaded by Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. But who will be the fourth leg of this new high table of Indian batting: who will replace Tendulkar?

I’ve long tipped this man for a long and extremely successful Test career, and now is surely Ajinkya Rahane’s time. The 25 year old has only played one Test to date and that was a limp failure against a limp Australia in Delhi earlier this year. His First Class stats, however, mark him out as someone to watch very closely. From 64 games he averages 59.90 with 19 centuries. This boy can bat. He’s a better bet that Suresh Raina.

India have been cosily plugging away at home in the Test area recently, so these two tours will really test this next generation of Indian batsmen. None of Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli or Rahane has played in South Africa or England. These also happen to be two of the toughest tours going, as MS Dhoni, the India captain, can testify after the 4-0 whitewash his side suffered in England last time out. England then followed that up with a 2-1 win in India last year. This is a new-look Indian side with old scores to settle.

Are the newbies up to it? We will soon find out. Replacing 46,576 Test runs was never going to be easy, but perhaps Rahane will have the toughest test of them all. Of the magic quartet, only Sehwag struggled in South Africa and England. Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar all created their global legend on such tours. I can’t wait to see how the new foursome gets on. So I’ll leave you with the imposing shoes that they are set to step into in the next 12 months.

Virender Sehwag:

–          Test average 49.32

–          In South Africa 25.46

–          In England 27.80

 VVS Laxman:

–          Test average 45.97

–          In South Africa 40.42

–          In England 34.47

 Rahul Dravid:

–          Test average 52.31

–          In South Africa 29.71

–          In England 68.80

 Sachin Tendulkar:

–          Test Average 53.78

–          In South Africa 46.44

–          In England 54.31

 By Miles Reucroft

Pin It

2 comments on “India and life after Sachin Tendulkar

  1. Pingback: India and life after Sachin Tendulkar -

  2. Pingback: The Ashes 2013/14 preview and prediction | The Cricket Blog