Selectors should hasten Sachin's succession process

India, Dec. 1 -- At first there were three, now there's one. For around a decade, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting were the dominant batsmen in world cricket but following the Australian's retirement announcement, the Indian maestro will stand alone.

While Tendulkar might still be upright, he's no longer dominating attacks. It'll be interesting to see if Ponting's announcement has any affect on Tendulkar's future.

Ponting's decline was partly age related but it was also hastened by allowing himself to be talked out of batting at number three.

Some players are born to bat in a prime position and Ponting was a number three. The moment he acquiesced to move down the order, he was admitting there were some doubts creeping into his mind. Despite coming into the South African series with plenty of runs under his belt, those doubts arose again after a couple of failures.

Following his retirement, Ponting will be remembered as one of Australia's finest batsmen. He'll also be admired for the way he played the game. He was fiercely combative and everything Ponting did on the cricket field, whether it was batting or captaining, was done with the purest of aims; to help win the cricket match for his team.

True to his word

Ponting declared before the start of this international season that he would know the right time to go. He was true to his word and left before each new innings had his team-mates on tenterhooks, hoping this would be the one where he broke out of a lean trot. On the other hand Tendulkar, at almost two years older, has the Indian population waiting with baited breath for him to brush aside a slump.

Playing for stats

Tendulkar's decline has gathered speed since he concerned himself more with the statistical side of batting rather than constantly seeking a match-winning contribution.

The accumulation of centuries became his search for the Holy Grail.

No player is indispensable and the Indian selectors should know better than most. Following the retirement of that wonderful servant Rahul Dravid, he's been adequately replaced at number three by Cheteshwar Pujara.

The selectors have no excuse for not hastening the succession process, as they've had the choice of a number of ready-made young replacements. Australia would willingly trade one of their prominent young fast bowlers for a choice from the skillful group ranging from Rohit Sharma to Unmukt Chand.

Part of being a good selector is about giving a young player the best chance to succeed.

Promoting him when he's in prime form is an obvious move but other more subtle decisions can also lead to a successful conclusion; like selecting the player to debut at a favoured ground or against lesser opposition.

Denying youngsters

When it comes to ageing star players, the selectors can maintain the status quo and know that sooner or later their indecision will be vindicated when the champion finally posts a score.

However, in the meantime, young players will be denied an opportunity and eventually their "right moment" will pass.

India are fortunate to have skillful and youthful replacements but there's more chance the Dalai Lama will be replaced than Tendulkar moving aside.

Consequently, it's up to Tendulkar to replicate Ponting's decision and make sure the timing of his retirement is as exquisite as one of his flowing cover drives.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils

On Now: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle-order lifts Chennai to 177-7. More »

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years: Manohar

BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years: Manohar

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Peter Anderson has started work in Kabul as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year's World Cup. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »