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Old legs should give way, say ex greats

Associated Press
Jan 29, 2012 at 02:05pm IST

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New Delhi: Former India cricket greats have called for an overhaul of the test team and say the future of the veteran batting lineup must come under scrutiny following the humiliating 4-0 series defeat by Australia.

India has lost its past eight overseas tests, most by big margins, creating a consensus among fans and commentators that changes are overdue.

India was comparatively competitive in the opening test of the series in Melbourne but defeat there was followed by routs in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide.

 Old legs should give way, say former greats

Former India cricket greats have called for an overhaul of the Test team.

"If the Indian team had performed better in Melbourne and perhaps have won the match the result of the series could have been different," former captain Sourav Ganguly told a television channel. "If the team keeps losing like this, changes are inevitable."

Sunil Gavaskar, who is considered along with Sachin Tendulkar as India's best-ever batsmen, said the time had come to try younger players.

"If the team is going to get out for 160-odd, it's better to do so with young players so that they can learn from experience and serve the country better in future," Gavaskar was quoted by an English daily in India.

Ravi Shastri, a former India allrounder, felt the senior players such as Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag should be consulted about their future in the team but that age was "conspiring against them."

"I do feel they need to be heard rather than shoved aside. But it's time they are asked about their future plans," Shastri wrote in his column in an Indian newspaper.

Meanwhile, former Australia captain Ian Chappell blamed the losses partly on a national team set-up which gave too much power to the big-name players.

"The star players have held sway for too long and surely eight successive losses, some of them total capitulations, is confirmation the system is not working," Chappell wrote in a newspaper column.

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