Always on razor’s edge: Laxman contemplating retirement should not come as a surprise

It should not be surprising that VVS Laxman is contemplating retirement after the two Test match series against New Zealand at home. Laxman and Rahul Dravid had been in the line of fire for Team India’s debacle in England and Australia and there were voices emanating from all quarters, which pointed fingers on their form.

While Dravid retired few months ago after widespread criticism, it looked like Laxman would soon follow the suit. But then nothing came from Laxman’s end and it looked the classy Hyderabadi batsman would carry on for at least a couple of years.

But then the criticism started doing rounds again ahead of the home series against the Kiwis and that forced Laxman to think on hanging on his gloves. It has been learnt that Laxman would soon announce his retirement and as a matter of fact was not even willing to play against the Kiwis. However, he decided to turn up for India for one last time before calling it a day.

Laxman along with Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar formed the ‘Fab Four’ of Indian Team and these stalwarts played an important role in taking India to the pinnacle of Test cricket. Ganguly and Dravid are long gone now and with Laxman contemplating retirement, things do not look good for Team India as of now.

Laxman, who made his debut in 1996 against South Africa in Ahmadabad, has played 134 Tests scoring 8781 runs, including 17 centuries and 56 fifties. He has been less prominent in the limited overs circuit and played only 86 ODIs scoring 2338 runs with six hundreds.

And now after 16 years of service to the country he finally decided to draw curtains on his illustrious career. Well, all good things do come to an end but then the way it came to him, is saddening. For a man who has played such an important part in taking Indian cricket where it is now, is forced to retire following criticisms, is really uncalled for.

But now as it is almost certain that Laxman would bid adieu to the game, what will bother the Indian selectors is to find a replacement for him. Selectors are already scratching their heads over finding a suitable replacement for Dravid and now they have one more job in hand.

Laxman has been the one of the few players who can thrive very well under pressure and has been one of the best batsmen in the fourth innings. He has rescued India from dire straits on many occasions and also helped the team script many famous wins. It will very difficult for the youngsters to emulate the benchmark that he has set and things might go smoothly till the team in playing in the sub-continent, but then once they travel abroad, they will feel his absence.

It was not only the Dravid, Laxman and Sachin who failed in England and Australia but then the whole Indian batting line didn’t come up to the expectations. It was one of the rare occasions where these stalwarts failed but then these two tours showed that Indian youngsters are not in the position yet to fill into their huge shoes. With Dravid gone, Laxman should have been left by the critics to leave on his own terms. The critics somehow forgot his class and contribution to India cricket.

With the likes of Cheteswar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma in the queue to replace Dravid and Laxman in the side, their absence from the team will be realised only once Team India start playing in the sub-continent.

By Indian Sports News Network