Virat Kohli can be replaced but there is no replacement for Sachin Tendulkar, feels Waqar Younis
What’s the story?
Iconic fast bowler Waqar Younis has affirmed that there may be a replacement for current Indian skipper Virat Kohli but legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara cannot be replaced. The 45-year-old shared his views while shedding light into the massive void left in Pakistan team by the recent retirements of stalwarts Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan.
“You don't easily replace players who have scored 10,000 runs in Test cricket. It's going to take some serious professionalism to match that. Pakistan has some talent in the country and we need the likes of Babar Azam to step up and take responsibility, show the world how good he is. In addition, Pakistan needs Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq to now become the leaders of the batting group”, Waqar told PakPassion.net.
He added, “There is always someone around the corner in Pakistan cricket to fill the gap of a leaving player. When Wasim Akram and I left, Shoaib Akhtar was around, and so was Umar Gul, so the replacements are there. But having said that, for some players like Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, there are no replacements. You can get a replacement for Virat Kohli, but Tendulkar will never be replaced.”
Waqar’s statements could come from the fact that Tendulkar and Lara were the two best batsmen during the 90s when he was at the peak of his prowess. During that golden decade, the duo were the only two batsmen to average more than 50 in Tests (among those with at least 5000 runs) as well as average over 40 in ODIs (among those with at least 5000 runs).
The heart of the matter
Right throughout the 90s, India were heavily reliant on Tendulkar to carry the burden of their batting. However, as the decade came to an end and the Millennium turned over, the emergence of Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag turned the lineup into a formidable one.
After Tendulkar’s glorious career came to an end, Kohli took on the mantle of India’s premier batsman. The Delhi dasher has grown from strength to strength in the last five years or so and carved a niche for himself across all formats of the game. More so in ODIs and T20Is, where his relentless temperament has made the national team extremely reliant on him to emerge as the winning side.
Waqar has picked England, Australia, India and South Africa as the teams to beat in the upcoming edition of the Champions Trophy. He insisted that Pakistan’s chances are ‘not very bright’. The tournament proper is slated to begin on June 1 at The Oval.
Seeing as Kohli still has a long way to go before stamping his name among the leading Test batsmen in the modern era, Waqar’s opinion holds true for the longest format of the game. However, his incredible stature in white-ball cricket means that he cannot be replaced in the limited-overs formats.