LONDON: Former captain Rahul Dravid has said it will be impossible to replace Sachin Tendulkar once the senior India batsman retires from international cricket but added the game will go on.
“I don’t think you should look to replace him, it will be impossible,” Dravid said.
“There is a lot of talent there and they have to become who they want to be. When Sunil Gavaskar retired people said where would the next Sunil Gavaskar come from but then we had Sachin Tendulkar come through,” Dravid told the BBC Radio 5 Live show.
Tendulkar has retired from ODI cricket last year but is expected to carry on with his Test career for some time.
“For a whole generation of people it is going to be strange because they have grown up with Sachin but it is inevitable. It will happen. People move on. It is life. Cricket will go on. It is bigger than any individual. The greats have played before him and will continue to play after him,” he added.
Kapil Dev recalled the first time he watched Tendulkar bat.
“The first time I saw him bat was at the Brabourne Stadium (in Mumbai) and I was asked to bowl at him,” recollected Kapil.
“I was told he would get encouragement from it. I said ‘who is he?’ and was told he had done well in school cricket and to just bowl a few balls. He looked like a 14 year-old. He played with decent balance and I was very nervous to bowl to him. He was too young for me to bowl to.
“I bowled a couple of quick ones. He flicked them off and in the net you could see he looked good at that age. His ability was there but could not dream this young boy would be one of the finest cricketers to walk this earth.”
Asked to judge Tendulkar’s greatest innings, former captains Sourav Ganguly and Gavaskar said it was his 114 against Australia at Perth in 1992.
India were heavily beaten but Tendulkar made 114 on a typically rock hard, bouncy pitch at the WACA.
“That is still the best. He was a young boy, about 18. It was a bouncy Perth pitch. We were hammered in that series but he smashed (Craig) McDermott and (Merv) Hughes on a quick WACA pitch,” said Ganguly.
“We go to Australia quite a lot now and are used to those pitches but in those days we went once every six years and it was even harder to get used to the pace and bounce.”