The era of the Fab Five is coming to an end with only Sachin Tendulkar the lone warrior remaining. They have contributed so much to the sport of cricket that we are made to wonder – what next for the Fab Five? Anil Kumble and Saurav Ganguly have bid adieu since a long time to find their post-cricket paths. However, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar (in the future) will face the same question about their post-retirement plans. To make a good prediction of their future, it is necessary to know their tendencies and qualities. Therefore, I attempted to pick an Avengers superhero that resembles each player’s method and demeanor to come to the desired conclusions.
Avengers Superhero – Captain America
Anil Kumble, an often excluded pick in the Fab Five, was a true veteran in the dusk of his playing days. He showed this by his exceptional leadership after the controversial Sydney Test. In the delicate days after the Test, he subdued the emotions of his teammates and acted as a diplomat to pacify the volatile situation. But many people don’t give him credit for what followed. He deserves accolades for leading the team into the Perth Test and also coming out victorious. The ‘Captain America’ of Indian cricket has displayed time and again that he can stand tall when the odds are unfair. The nickname ‘Jumbo’ justifies his big heart and dedication to Indian cricket. Despite his stature of greatness, he realizes the importance of teammates and the spirit of the game.
Anil Kumble has stepped into the Karnataka State Cricket Association as the President and it is widely felt that it is an ideal role for him. He gets to judge the talent while also being able to monitor the cricket system in the grassroots of a state. In the future, it will be beneficial for Indian cricket to have him mentor talent while also managing the cricketing infrastructure.
Avengers Superhero – Hulk
Sourav Ganguly is often described as being fearless yet smart. His reign as captain changed the face of Indian cricket. During his career, Ganguly was known for his effort to encourage youngsters to play their natural game and back them to perform. He took the world head-on and announced India at the world stage. So the question is – why Hulk? As much as it seems preposterous, it is a rational comparison. Hulk as a human is a genius scientist but as the “Hulk” he is known to take the ‘bull by its horns’. Ganguly has displayed an ideal mixture of these qualities to become Dada.
Sourav Ganguly has already expressed his desire to coach in the future and it seems a likely match for him. He has already shown his prowess to bring out the talent in the modern generation of cricketers. This makes him a good candidate to coach an international team, ideally India. He can instill the same combination of courage and wisdom into the team.
Avengers Superhero – Iron Man
‘The Wall’ as we know him has risen to all challenges throughout his career. Initially regarded as a Test batsman, he adapted his game to all formats including 20-over cricket. He did all this while maintaining a rock-solid defense. This is the brilliance of the man that is often disregarded. Even though he lacked the “talent” that is often associated with certain other players, he solidified his game through hard work and persistence. That is why he resembles Iron Man. Creating his own path of success rather than relying on natural gifts.
Rahul Dravid should become a part of the National Cricket Academy to observe and improve the techniques of the upcoming Indian batsmen. He has all the tools to be a mentor while also giving the right tips at the right time.
Avengers Superhero – Hawkeye
VVS Laxman, the recent retiree from the Fab Five, was often seen with his headphones on and listening to music while waiting for his turn to bat. He had this amazingly calm attitude that allowed him to concentrate on the task ahead rather than getting distracted. That is why the ‘crisis manager’ will be missed in the Indian cricket team. However, Laxman has said several times that his mental composure makes him overcome tough situations. Hawkeye‘s immaculate focus and precision are identical characteristics to those of Laxman.
Laxman‘s next task is to instill this attitude in the next generation. He has to take up mental conditioning to professionally improve the young men’s frame of mind. This will help them concentrate on their game more than the bling associated with it. Often ignored, Laxman never sought endorsements. He has to take this attitude forward.
Avengers Superhero – Thor
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar - the hero of millions and residing in the hearts of many more. As the ‘run-machine’ is slowly going towards the close, he leaves us with innumerable accomplishments to cherish. His career is a highlight for the eyes of the admirers. Over the course of his long (yet still lasting) career, he has faced various challenges and has come out trumps in all of them. He is often referred to as the ‘God of Cricket’ and hence, a comparison to Thor (God of Thunder) might come close. Superman (as he was famously referred to by Ravi Shastri after his 200*) is an option too but Thor serves the purpose. Wielding his bat like Thor’s hammer, Sachin has lived cricket throughout his life and it is a million-dollar question as to what he will set out to accomplish after his playing career comes to an end.
In the case of Sachin, we can only speculate as to what he will do after retirement. It might be an idea in his mind to run a cricket academy to bolster the school-level talent in the country. However, there can only be controversy when we predict Sachin‘s next step. Therefore, it is best to leave it to fate to see his post-retirement career take shape and as always, thrill our hearts with his love for cricket.Published 15 Sep 2012, 12:31 IST