Post-Tendulkar era Begins with Trial by Fire
The contrasting results in two series had taken some focus off the issues emanating from Tendulkar’s retirement
Johannesburg: The thrashing in ODIs behind them, India will be aiming to start the post-Sachin Tendulkar era in Test cricket on a positive note but the task looks daunting as they would be up against the world’s number one side South Africa in the two-match series starting here tomorrow.
At the Wanderers stadium, after losing the three-ODI series 2-0, the visitors will be looking to make their first mark on the tour, in what will be a new era in the annals of Indian cricket.
For this is the first Test match for Team India following the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar. The Master Blaster bid farewell after playing his 200th Test versus West Indies in Mumbai, in what was an emotional roller-coaster for the entire nation’s cricket fans.
Since then, six ODIs have been played against the Windies and here in South Africa. The contrasting results in these two series had taken some focus off the issues emanating from Tendulkar’s retirement. Now, they need to be addressed.
The first question to be asked is who will bat at number four? The true realisation of Tendulkar’s departure will dawn when a new face comes in to bat at the fall of the second wicket during India’s first innings in this Test.
It probably will be Virat Kohli, attempting to fill in the big boots, an unenviable task surely.
It fits the context of this Test series. This is India’s first overseas Test in nearly two years, since their tour to Australia in 2011-12.
In 12 Tests at home thereafter, India won nine, lost two and drew one, winning series against New Zealand, Australia and West Indies.
They lost a series to England in between. Most importantly, this long home season ensured the transition with Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman departing the scene.