And So It Begins

by Devanshu Mehta

I left India in 2001, the year of the Kolkata Test. The Australian team from that match has one player left in the team– Ricky Ponting.

India have five– Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.

That is remarkable.

Later this year, it will have been ten years since the Natwest Trophy Finals.

England has no players left from that eleven.

India have six left in their ODI setup, and seven overall.

That is remarkable.

By the end of of 2012, a lot of this will change: VVS and Dravid will be gone, and so might Tendulkar. On the international scene, Ponting and Boucher may be gone. Perhaps Kallis, Sangakkara, Jayawardene not far behind?

So far, the Indian team has had an unbelievably strong connection with the team I grew up watching. Tendulkar made his debut under Srikkanth, and played with Shastri, Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev. Dravid made his debut under Azhar, and against Atherton. Elsewhere, Ponting made his debut under Mark Taylor, in a team that included Healy, Boon and McDermott.

So far, we have been only one degree of separation away from the past, from my childhood. After 2011, we will be two degrees of separation away.

Goodbye, Dravid.