Thursday, October 22, 2015

Virender Sehwag Retires - Thus Ends The Golden Years Of Indian Cricket

Virender Sehwag won’t play cricket for India anymore. With his retirement, the golden era of Indian cricket is over.

A group of highly skilled and passionate cricketers, who formed one of the best line-ups in world, helped take Indian cricket to new heights that resulted in the team’s unprecedented rise to attain the numero uno status in Tests for the first time in 2009.

By the time India reached the top spot in test ranking in 2009, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble had already hung their boots. A few years later, in 2012, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman retired. A year later, Sachin Tendulkar decided to quit international cricket. With Sehwag’s departure from international cricket, the golden era of Indian cricket is now a piece of history.

The fab five
Dream line-up.
Image Source: Drive Cricket
These players, now iconic figures in Indian cricket, gave wings to the imagination of every cricket fan in the country, entertained cricket viewers around the world, brought grace and dignity to the sport and gave us sweet memories to last forever.

Not often do you come across such brilliance in one team. If one has to find similar quality in one line-up, Australian team under Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting would certainly qualify. Apart from that, no other team would possibly qualify from that era.   

The best part of the Indian team in the last decade and half is that it had a mix of everything that a cricket lover could ask for. When they played, they were like classical music – rich, profound and in perfect rhythm. They lifted the team when needed, complemented each other well and at the same time were successful in creating their own niche.

Though they had separate and distinct styles, they were bound by the passion and love for cricket. Sachin Tendulkar was the god, the supremo, a person who did who could do wrong on a cricket field. Rahul Dravid was the silent protector - much like the Batman – who possessed great technique and temperament. Sourav Ganguly was a fighter, a man of steel, and one of the finest captains India ever had. V.V.S. Laxman was a poet with the bat. His every shot played with wrist was poetry in motion. Anil Kumble was a fighter and a fierce competitor. However, the one who had no similarity with the rest was Virender Sehwag. He is supremely talented and rewrote the rules and grammar of batsmanship with exceptional audacity and amazing skills.

It was through their great skills and cricketing acumen, the team earned great respect both on and off the field. It was a combined effort of the team and individual belief that culminated in India gaining No. 1 status in Test cricket and winning the world cup in 2011.

The records tell the story of their enormous achievements. But these men are worth a lot more then what the numbers show. Besides being great cricketers, they have been wonderful ambassadors of cricket. They added immense value of the sport and left the fans with opportunities to tell stories to their grand kids in years to come.

This article was published in youngisthan.in on 23-10-2015.
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