'It is really difficult to get a top class Test batsman because a player needs time to mature. That is why it is very important to retain experienced players,' Zaheer Abbas told IANS in an interview.
Karachi: Pakistan's legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas has warned that India will make a grave mistake if it decided to dump its senior players who have been the cornerstone of its strong batting line-up.
Zaheer, who was known for his prolific batting, said it is never easy to replace experienced players and India will have to pay the price if it opted to say goodbye to the quartet of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
'Batsmen are like wine, they get better with time,' Zaheer told IANS in an interview on Monday.
'It is really difficult to get a top class Test batsman because a player needs time to mature. That is why it is very important to retain experienced players,' he stressed.
A raging debate is going on in India over the future of the 'fabulous four' of its cricket. Knives are out for Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman following India's 1-2 defeat in the three-Test series in Sri Lanka in August.
Dravid made a mere 148 in six innings and was followed by Ganguly (96) and Tendulkar (95). Laxman excelled in patches with 215 runs but he too was far from his best.
Indian cricket officials are now under pressure to blood youngsters in the Test side but Zaheer said they should take calculated risks.
'I don't see any youngster in India who can replace players like Tendulkar and Dravid,' he said.
'I believe that they are just going through a bad patch and will return to form soon. India just needs to be patient.'
Zaheer, however, agreed that there is a question mark hanging over Ganguly's future.
'Ganguly has been a success story for India in the past but, yes, he certainly is at the twilight of his career. He needs to prove a point against the Australians.'