As I watched the Indians bats, and bat beautifully I might add, something started bothering me. The foursome who scored so well in the innings include two genuine stroke makers in VVS and Ganguly, one God, and the other possibly one of the best anchors in test cricket in Dravid. The other two batsmen in the side include Wasim Jaffer, a stroke maker first and an anchor next (all left to chance) and Yuvraj, who believes that he is a genuine stroke maker. The three players who have been floated on this website and elsewhere as possible replacements include Manoj Tiwary, S. Badrinath and Suresh Raina all of whom are stroke makers. S. Badrinath, one may argue, has the potential to play the anchor role but I am not convinced as yet.
By memory I think of Amol Mazumdar, Venugopala Rao, Mithun Manhas, Sitanshu Kotak, Akash Chopra, C A Pujara, and SS Das as ones who are currently playing domestic cricket and have had success in the anchor roles. Unfortunately, some of the mentioned players are considered past their prime (age), do not have the necessary clout, or are best in domestic outings but do not have it in them to take it to the next level. Mohd. Kaif has an outside chance but may still not have the technique to fulfill the role which brings to mind the key factor that, I believed is required to be in consideration. Technique! How many players in the current domestic playing circuit can boast of a technique any close to what Dravid or Tendulkar had when they came into reckoning?
It would be interesting to hear others’ views on this but, for me, in addition to grooming the likes of Yuvraj, Raina, Tiwary alike, we have to more urgently start looking at identifying and nurturing players who can bring stability and solidity to the opening and middle order slots in the Indian batting line up.