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Farewell! fabulous five

Farewell! fabulous five
Highlights

Every hero becomes a bore at last, goes the saying. True to the adage, the Sandeep Patil-led Selection Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had done a wonderful balancing job while announcing the 30 probables for the ensuing World Cup, where India goes in as the defending champion.

Fortune favours fresh faces

Every hero becomes a bore at last, goes the saying. True to the adage, the Sandeep Patil-led Selection Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had done a wonderful balancing job while announcing the 30 probables for the ensuing World Cup, where India goes in as the defending champion.

One fails to understand why there has been hue and cry over the ‘axing’ of the former match winners. Irrespective of who tries to champion the cause of the five-Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan (champion performers of a long time ago) there is no denying the fact that each is past his prime. And none is getting younger.

At a time when the sport is crammed with loads of young talent, there is no reason why these ‘battle-scarred’ veterans should even be considered in the first place. One cannot flaunt past laurels for achieving noteworthy results on the morrow.

What is ironical and should not miss the eye is that none has donned the national colours this season. Their last outings are good as forgotten history- Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Harbhajan had their ‘swan-song’ in 2013 while the injury-prone Zaheer Khan was last seen in August 2012. Moreover, even on the domestic front (including IPL), barring an odd contribution here and there, no one performed to such consistently lofty levels that the selectors could discuss their merits. There was no need to include such a luxurious point on the agenda while naming the 30 probables.

As early as two months back, Sourav Ganguly reasoned that age has caught up with Sehwag and Yuvraj. It would only be fair if the other three are also considered as victims of the old-age syndrome, a phenomenon that catches up with every mortal one day or the other.

For a sportsperson who fails in any one season or becomes vulnerable to injuries, it comes a bit early.

Leaving aside the dropping of the five ( who have been ranked as passengers by Sunil Gavaskar) and retaining just four active players from the 2011 edition, the selectors have taken a pragmatic, although belated, stock of the potentialities and likelihood of the current crop of torchbearers delivering the goods on D-Day right through February 14 to March 29, assuming that the Men in Blue keep tryst with destiny and make it to the summit clash, However as things stand, the possibilities are remote, particularly considering the form the contenders have been in during the run-up to the ODI magnum opus. Deep in their heart, each of the five not making a comeback (it is too ambitious an expectation on their part) will realise that not figuring in the top thirty is part and parcel of a professional athlete’s life.

When it is the country’s image that is at stake there should be no room for absurd and half-baked sentiments like ‘oh, he has been a living legend’, ‘he has at least another season to go,’ ‘he will leave a huge vacuum,’ ‘form is temporary, class is eternal’ and ‘he deserves a last hurrah’. Bluntly put, these gentlemen have been replaced by younger and fitter talents whose hunger for glory is of extraordinarily high magnitude. This is something similar to what the five did at the time of their baptism into international cricketing mainstream on the strength of their proven talents. It is perhaps time these players explore post-retirement opportunities. Sadly for them, making it to the commentators’ box is virtually ruled out as it is already overcrowded. The motley crowd will surely not entertain any more ‘voices’.


As things stand it would be hypothetical to decide on the potential winners, heroes and zeroes as the event is two months away.

By a strange irony, Hyderabadis have a reason to celebrate, albeit by default. Although, there is no one from the present Ranji squad (none has any legitimate credentials to make the cut) among the probables, Sunrisers Hyderabad, the city headquartered IPL franchise, has the maximum number of players with six- Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Parvez Rasool and Karn Sharma.

Even as the December 8 date with the Supreme Court hangs as the Damocles Sword for the BCCI, the Men in Blue begin their World Cup ‘adventure’ with a major advantage. Along with co-host Australia and England (for the tri-series) they could get acclimatised to the ground and weather conditions. That will be a decisive factor going India’s way.


In parting while saluting the spectacular roles played by the big five that helped India regain the coveted Cup, it is also time to move on with the times and think of the future. It is better to gamble and invest on young blood than swear by old-timers who have been reduced to NPAs, give it or take.

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