Sachin Tendulkar timed his retirement well to get his due — unlike Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman

Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement brings an end to the era of the Fab Four in Indian cricket © PTI

Sachin Tendulkar bid an emotional adieu to the cricket world after 24 glorious years in the sport on Saturday. While his retirement marks the end of a famous era that produced some of the greatest Indian batsmen, it is evident that the timing of his farewell was better timed than that of Rahul Dravid’s and VVS Laxman’s, keeping the Indian team and its future in mind. Devarchit Varma explains…
 
 
The world bid adieu to its favourite and most admired cricketer on Saturday. Amid humongous appreciation, affection and moist eyes, Sachin Tendulkar walked off the cricket field for one last time leaving Indian cricket in safe hands.
 
Tendulkar was a part of the legendary generation of Indian batsmen who took the team to new heights. He was a part of the “Fab Four”, which also comprised Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly.

Ganguly hung his boots five years ago in 2008, at a time when there was no pressure on the Indian cricket team regarding its performance. In fact, a lot was credited to Ganguly when India went on to become the No 1 Test side in the world after his retirement. Now, as Tendulkar exits, it can be said that Indian cricket is in safe hands. The team is performing well and the future looks promising. Dravid and Laxman could have played on a little more as the team really needed them at that point in time.
 
Dravid bid farewell on March 2012 — a decision which stunned the cricketing world. Apart from immensely successful outings in the West Indies and in England the previous year, Dravid had just one bad outing in Australia. One felt he could have continued. There was no pressure on Dravid to retire, yet he left, in a characteristically quiet manner.
 
Laxman’s retirement perhaps happened in the most unfortunate manner. Disappointed with claims of him occupying a place in the team ahead of a promising young talent, and combined with his poor run in England and Australia, Laxman did not even feel playing a farewell Test on his home ground in Hyderabad when he was named in the squad to take on New Zealand in August 2012. The team needed him more than ever, with Dravid gone. But he had made his mind.
 
When Dravid and Laxman retired, Indian cricket was in a mess. They had lost eight overseas Test matches on the trot. It was a crucial period and India needed their seasoned campaigners to weather the storm. Unfortunately, this was when Dravid and Laxman chose to retire. England and Australia, who had mauled India in the previous meetings, were set to tour that season and India needed their top stars in the ranks.
 
India hit a new low when they lost to England at home, their first loss to the touring side in 28 years. In a span of 12 months, Indian cricket looked clueless.
 
On the other hand, if one looks at Tendulkar’s timing, it would be safe to say that it was perfect. The team consisting promising talent is on the way up and the young guns have taken charge. India have won six Tests in-a-row. Australia were beaten 4-0 and now West Indies lost 2-0. A new positive age awaits India. The uncertainties and fear surrounds no more and Indian cricket looks to be in safe hands.
 
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)