With Dravid gone & Sachin, Laxman at the fag-end of their career, it's time to groom the likes of Rohit & Virat for tougher series abroad

So the Indian Premier League has ended and the focus will shift to international matches now. One thing that IPL has done well since the past five years is that it has made people forget about what happened in the international arena just before the cash-rich tournament begin. India struggled in their past few series and has been going through their worst time in Test matches.

They lost 4-0 in England and continued their bad run in Australia and lost all the four Test matches there as well. In the process India saw one of their all times best batsmen Rahul Dravid retire from international cricket. India had one of the world’s best middle orders and it was their efforts that took India to number one Test spot, Dravid batted at number three followed by Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman, one can’t ask for anything better. But now things have changed, Ganguly and Dravid have retired and Sachin and VVS are on the fag end of their careers. So, the question that arises that does whether Indian cricket have the replacement for their fabulous four?

India will play their next 10 Test matches on their home soil and that seems to be a blessing in disguise. It is a perfect opportunity for the Indian team management to try the options that they have, they have quite a few Test matches before they travel abroad and in the mean time the focus should be to give as much opportunity to the youngsters as they can. India’s next Test series is against New Zealand and the team should not hesitate to give rest to the old guys, because ultimately the team has to get the habit of playing without the senior pros.

Let’s have a look at some of the players who are more likely to replace these batting stalwarts and who should be given a chance in the upcoming Test series.

Virat Kolhi: India struggled to find a replacement for Ganguly, they tried Yuvraj, Raina but both the players failed. Kohli looked the best option but he struggled in the West Indies and lost his place for the England Test series. He was recalled in the Australian Test series and played some solid innings. He was the lone centurion for the Indian team on that tour and has fixed a spot for himself. Kohli might bat at number three and will look to do what Rahul Dravid did for India so successfully.

Rohit Sharma
: He has still not played any Test match for India and it is high time that Sharma gets a chance at the biggest stage. He has always been termed as a good batsman and big things have been expected from him. He is a consistent face in Indian one day and T20 squad and will be looking to make it big in the toughest format of them all.

Cheteshwar Pujara: He has played three Test matches for India and he impressed a lot before getting injured. Pujara has a good technique and he is well equipped to face the challenges that Test matches provide. Pujara if fit provides a good option for India in Test matches.

Ajinkya Rahane: Rahane has been a prolific run-scorer in the domestic circuit and which helped him get selected to play in England in the shorter formats. Rahane showed that he was not hurried by the tall English fast bowlers and played some decent little innings. He was very impressive in the recently concluded IPL and handled world’s best bowlers with ease. T20 is not a format where a player can be judged whether he is suitable to play in Tests or not, but Rahane with the authority and the technique that he showed might just change that.

By Indian Sports News Network