an eulogy to the golden generation


India grew up with them

Greatness and Longevity at times co exist. When we talk of emperors, it is often the decades of their rule that comes to mind along with the frontiers conquered. Sports too throws up such emperors, some out of the blue while some in the methodical long run. We adore them. Salute them. Respect them. Idolize them. Pour accolades on them. And sometimes bestow on them the status of a demi-god. Indian cricket is in fact just that.


For an entire generation growing up, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan have been the lights of hope. The torch bearers of it. An inspiration. The messiahs of a religion called ‘Cricket’. And above all Legends.

As Indian cricket is on the process of a revamp with the some of the seniors set to give way for the young blood, I just wondered the impact the afore mentioned players have had on the populace. For me, they are a part of the Golden generation that grew leaps and bounds and eventually took the team to the numero-uno status in test matches.

I’m sure most of you would be flabbergasted to see Sourav’s name in front of Sachin’s. I know some of you won’t be able to digest it. But wait. Let me clear the air.

In 2000, Indian cricket hit an all-time low as a result of the unscrupulous match fixing allegations. Scandals struck like fours and sixes. Heroes became villains. Nation’s proud sons pleaded guilty. Everything was in disarray. And Indian cricket like an infant didn’t know what to do. All it desperately needed was a Renaissance. It needed to rise like a phoenix. It needed Change. Yes, it now needed a leader, not just a captain to script it.

It was then that Sourav, popularly known as the “Dada’ took over the reins of captaincy ( no, no.. leadership). He was wary of the challenges. He was aware of the difficulties of playing abroad. He knew the mind games that were played. He knew the tasks that needed to be accomplished. And for that he knew he needed match winners.

For almost the entire decade of the 90s, India was Sachin and vice versa. When he clicked, we won and whenever he didn’t rarely did we win. So, that perception had to be changed and Ganguly knew it. And hence played a pivotal role in grooming the likes of Sehwags, Zaheers, Yuvrajs and Bhajjis. The term TEAM INDIA was born out of his visionary. So too was ‘Men in Blue’. Suddenly, there was this feeling of oneness, an urge to challenge the best in the business and moreover the caliber to effect a makeshift in the approach of being a subdued team to a fighting unit.

the FAB-four

This decade also saw the run machine, Sachin pile up runs and rewrite record books with a boring regularity. There was hardly a year when he didn’t break a record. This was also the time when we were treated to batsmanship of the order the world never saw. The fab-4 turned out to be the pillars of batting. Centuries were scored with utmost ease, be it the Oval, Brisbane, Bloemfontein, or Sydney. A fast SLOW bowler from Karnataka was adding wickets to his kitty at a pace quicker than some of the fast bowlers of this team. Overseas wins in Trinidad, Headingly, Johannesburg, Auckland, Perth and Durban came like jack pots. And slowly came the numero-uno status in tests.

It was a Golden phase in Indian cricket and they are part of this golden generation. As the team has hit an all time low having lost seven overseas tests in the last six months, let us show some respite and do not go overboard in making comments like “ VVS is a disgrace, throw him out.. Dravid lacks technique, sack him..”, after all it is they who changed the fortunes of Indian cricket by playing the innings of their life in that epic Calcutta test of 2001. We celebrated the victories with them. Let us now face it, the defeats. Have a head to do it.

An Indian fan moves on.. with his heroes….. an eulogy to the golden generation….

the Dada Army

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12 thoughts on “an eulogy to the golden generation

  1. Ganguly no doubt was the best leader of Indian cricket. And while the stalwarts have not really performed in recent series, it is too early yo write them off. Yes let us face the defeats with dignity and stand by these great cricketers.

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  2. Emotions have no value while representing the nation.You got to give the best for the nation and when you are not good enough, need to vacate.The people who brough glory to the nation don't have the authority to bring disgrace to the nation.That is the hard reality we Indians need to understand while supporting these icons.

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  3. Great Article!! I agree that they should not be thrown out but there needs to be some planning in phasing them out. They are not getting younger, are they? Laxman, Dravid and Sachin along with Dada have served Indian cricket brilliantly over the last couple of decades. They sure should be left to go on their own terms but the young players waiting in the wings need to be tried as they are the future of Indian batting. I for one will be really sad when Sachin hangs up his boots. My interest in cricket started with Sachin playing as a 18 year old in Sharjah in 1991 and since then I have been hooked.

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  4. I love your post!
    That was really, really good!
    I see that you have read my 'Will Laxman be dropped?' post and I also understand that what people say about dropping Laxman (including me) seems unfair. Yes it is highly unfair to treat a great player like Laxman this way, I accept. But it is the situation we are in that made me write that post. I have never seen India lose 4-0 in a Test series (in England), and we are on the verge of repeating it again. This kind of humiliation is something that has never happened, at least in the last 20 years. I always look forward to Test matches that India play in England and Australia and now we have lost both of them. The poorest performer in both these series is Laxman and that is why I want him to be dropped. This was the best opportunity for us to win in Australia in many, many years and that advantage has completely been squandered. God knows how many more years we are going to take to win a Test series there.

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  5. yeah, many thanks for that overwhelming feedback….. successions are inevitable in sport.. agreed. All i wanted to tell is that its just a matter of time before VVS calls it a day. Just do not get carried away with your reactions. Do not go overboard..

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  6. Yah..well written.. but sometimes it is very difficult to digest the fact that our team has been suffering poorly instead of the presence of those people of golden era. Great men must leave with their heads high,but it seems to be very tough to regain the pride.

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  7. well written BJ !

    Players like Dravid and Laxman cannot ( and should not ) be written off because of poor performance in one series ( or even two).. After all, they are the greatest servants of the game !!! Sachin had a rough patch in 2005, but he bounced back strongly. Sehwag too was performing very poorly and was even dropped from the team, only to score a triple-ton on his comeback game.. It's only fair that Dravid and Laxman too, are given the freedom.. The players should take a call on their retirement. Not the board, media or us !

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  8. Iv come across many in blogs and in the mainstream media talking about 'retirement should be left to the players'. What if they dont decide at 45? Do we still say the same thing??
    Speaking about Dada, Tendulkar, Dravid…they were brought into the team at a very young age. And they were thrown into the ring of fire. Thats how they became the sporting icons we know. So when their twilight years have come, we need to bring in more of the dadas, dravids and tendulkars. If we do not do it early, we might lose out on their best years which will mould them. And there is no doubt that these players might perform given more chances in batting pitches. But what is required is not one more year of their performance but what is required is youngsters who can perform for many more years. I dont think anyone should take offense when some one says that these guys should move on. We as fans have the freedom to do so. The point is the players should not bring their careers to such a state where people start talking about their retirement. Now the board faces another problem of finding the right time for their graceful exit!

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