In the current Indian test team playing against Australia, we have two players who made their debut at the same time (and quite spectacular ones at that); both subsequently went on to be integral parts of the Indian middle-order and played important roles in the resurgence of Indian cricket in the post-Azhar match-fixing era, and both went on to captain the Indian team.
However, over the last few years, the batting form of both players are supposed to have declined, along with that of two other important middle-order players (dubbed together fancifully as the ‘Fab Four’.) Such is the decline that there has been vociferous calls for these ageing players to step down voluntarily and make way for young blood.
Fair enough, after all the young blood has worked wonders for India at the T20 and ODI levels. Thus, one of these two batsmen has decided to call it a day, and will be retiring at the end of the current test series.
But lets have a quick statistical look at the decline: here is player 1’s record in the last two years (Matches-Runs-Highest-Score-Average-Strike Rate-100s-50s): 23 -1842-239-47.23-59.07-4-9.
Here is player #2 during the same period: 23-1292-129-33.12-40.40-2-7.
So, about six hundred more runs, average of 47 versus 33 (even at a higher strike rate of 59 versus 40), two more centuries and half centuries for one player.
Now guess which player is retiring ?
: Even though the said player is retiring voluntarily, make no mistakes that the circumstances forcing his decision were anything but voluntary.