On 9/3/2012 Rahun Dravid announced his retirement from international and domestic first class cricket. Anil Kumble and BCCI President N. Srinivasan were with him. In 164 Tests, he had 36 centuries, scored 13,288 runs with an average of 52.31, 210 catches and one wicket that is of Ridley Jacobs. In 344 ODIs he scored 10,889 runs with an average of 39.16, 12 centuries, 196 catches and four wickets including one of Saeed Anwar. His T20 match against England was his debut match and retirement match. He was known as the Wall. When he batted well the headline was the Wall stands tall.
The day Ricky Ponting retired from ODI cricket there was discussion on Indian news TV channels whether Sachin Tendulkar should retire. Before that during the Test series there was talk whether senior cricketers should retire.
It is for cricketers to decide when they want to retire and for selectors to decide who should be in the team. A cricketer does not retire does not mean he continues in the team. Selectors have dropped players who did not perform well. Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh have been in and out of the team. Rahul Dravid was dropped from ODIs. Sourav Ganguly was dropped as captain and player after winning Test series in Zimbabwe. It is wrong to say Kapil Dev by not retiring two years early delayed Srinathâ€™s entry. If Kapil Dev was not good selectors would have dropped him. The argument that senior cricketers by not retiring block chances of young cricketers is not correct.
India lost the Oval Test by an Innings and eight runs on 22/8/2011 and with that lost four Tests in succession after many years. It was in Oval in 1971 India had bundled out England for 101 in the second Innings and won a Test and series in England for the first time. Last time India lost all four Tests in a series was in 1967-68 in Australia. India, who were No. 1 in Tests before the series began, now rank No. 3 in Tests. How the mighty have fallen!
Suraj Randiv bowling a no ball resulted in Virender Sehwag not getting a century and remaining not out on 99. Controversy followed. Suraj Randiv apologised to Virender Sehwag. Sri Lanka Cricket Board fined Suraj Randiv and suspended him for one match and fined Tilakaratne Dilshan for telling Suraj Randiv to bowl a no ball. Captain Kumara Sangakkara was warned to see that such incidents do not happen.
Many people talk of sportsman spirit but Virender Sehwag had kicked the ball beyond the boundary to deprive Hashim Amla the strike. Teams play to win matches. Bowlers donâ€™t make it easy for the batsman unless the match is fixed.
People presume Virender Sehwag would have hit a century because he hit the ball beyond boundary and it would have been a six if the match had not been over due to no ball. That is probability and not certainty. Virender Sehwag could have been out bowled, or caught and bowled, or LBW, or hit wicket or stumped. In a Test he had been out stumped.