The last test series with Australia was historic to say the least. The favorable result, in my opinion paled in significance on account of two major events. One, the beginning of the departure of the old guard — Jumbo and Dada retiring from test cricket, and two, the emergence of M S Dhoni as a leader.
Please allow me the indulgence of sharing my thoughts on the two events:
Kumble all of 900 international wickets, always fought the tag of the fastest spinner in the world. His coming out to bowl in Antigua despite a fractured jaw touched a chord in all those who witnessed his courage. His calm and dignified leadership in the last series in Australia was a sterling example of grace under pressure. Dada brought in attitude to Indian cricket. The god of the offside, prince of Kolkatta and more importantly inspiration to a whole generation who believe in “ I can”. I am sure all of you witnessed his shirt twirling at Lords after the Natwest final, we chased 300 + in that match. This simple act in my opinion ranks with Gandhiji’s act of making Salt at Dandi. Both these signaled to the world that we will not go quietly into the night and asserted that we have to be counted as a force to reckon with.
I will miss both these (Jumbo and Dada) gentlemen, well they are of the same age as I am, so in a way I have grown up with them.
Now for M S D. Three of gestures are worth noting
1. Handing over captaincy to Dada in his last match
2. Allowing Dada the use of the captain’s suite in the hotel
3. Getting Jumbo to receive the trophy
These acts, ladies and gentlemen, show him to be a rare leader. One who is not insecure, one who respects the people who created the team and lastly one who is incredibly decent. I believe these are qualities to be emulated. I am sure that MSD will be a great captain and go down in history as a greater human being.
Very soon we will see the departure of VVS, the Wall and the one and only Tendulkar. The inevitable process of change also holds within itself the reality of new heroes emerging. MSD is a sterling example….