Dubai: It’s a well-worn cliché, but the fact remains that Virat Kohli’s arrival during the twilight years of Sachin Tendulkar has been a blessing of sorts for Indian cricket.
It keeps alive the tradition of the great Indian batsmanship for at least the last half-a-century, from the legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar, to Tendulkar and now the current Indian captain.
All the major cricket playing nations have, in recent times, grappled with the “Who’s next?” question — but not India.
Australia have been immensely fortunate to get Steve Smith who can step into Ricky Ponting’s shoes.
Sri Lanka are struggling after the departure of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene while the Caribbeans are nowhere near finding a successor to the genius of Brian Lara.
Pakistan, meanwhile, have suffered in recent years after the retirement of both larger-than-life figures Younis Khan and Misbah-ul Haq with Babar Azam still having a long way to go in following the footsteps of these giants.
India, on the other hand, had prided themselves with an embarrassment of riches since the mid-90s. The quartet of Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman and Sourav Ganguly had earned the sobriquet of ‘Fab Four’ with good reason — even as the gifted Virender Sehwag held his own despite their presence to become one of India’s real match-winners.
It’s a legacy which continues with Kohli — who seems well poised to bring down most of Tendulkar’s milestones by the time he’s done with the game. And he is not alone in this as there is Rohit Sharma alongside — with there being very little to choose between the two when it comes to white-ball cricket!