Every era boasts of certain players who do not only manage to raise their own game, but rather, the game in itself.
No matter how much they make us believe they aren’t, they are mortals, and their game doesn’t last forever, but their legacy does. The sad part is, after they’re gone, their team realises that this legacy can’t win them matches.
There are teams like the West Indies that, even after 25 years, haven’t ever managed to reproduce the exploits of the Lloyds, the Marshalls and the Vivians.
While there are teams like India which in a matter of months are back to giving results, and have coped with the retirement of Ganguly, Laxman, and Dravid, a half retirement of Tendulkar, and a virtual retirement of Sehwag.
How is it that India and Australia both jumped from the tenth floor, but India survived, while Australia is battling death? It’s because India remembered to bring a parachute along. Now to explain this pathetic example, India phased out their gladiators gradually, unlike the Australians, who bowed out in a procession, setting a very neat example of brotherhood, and complete brain explosion.
This is what Sri Lanka are doing, Jayasuriya, Vaas, Murali, Jayawardene, Sangakkara are not retiring hand-in-hand, they are going out one by one. So that the remaining can impart their experience to the newcomers, so that when they retire, they have a well-established player who fills their shoes. Like Pujara for Dravid, Kohli for Tendulkar, Gambhir for Ganguly, and Dhawan for Sehwag.
To end, no individual can ever be more important than the team. Atlas can never be as important as the world he safeguards. But one thing is for sure, Atlas cannot hold that burden forever.
What we now have to wait and watch is – Will West Indies ever find another Atlas? How long will Australia take to train a new Atlas? Will South Africa’s ageing Atlas put their world in danger? And will India’s newly found Atlas, be as good as he promises to be?
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