With Ricky gone, who will be next of the greats to retire?

By Kuldip Lal, Kuldip Lal is a Roar Rookie

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    Ricky Ponting’s decision to retire could be the start of an exodus of other batting greats, including Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis.

    With all the leading run-getters in Test cricket in the 35-plus age bracket, the next few years seem set to witness a host of retirements that will leave the game short of batting class and experience.

    Ponting, who turns 38 next month, started his 168th and last Test against South Africa on Friday and Tendulkar, who is without a Test century since early last year and will be 40 in April, appears to be next in line to call it quits.

    Kallis, West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene are also in the autumn of their careers, despite showing terrific form of late.

    The five veterans make up half the all-time list of just 10 players to have amassed 10,000 runs or more, along with the already retired Rahul Dravid, Brian Lara, Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Sunil Gavaskar.

    Tendulkar, the world’s leading scorer in both Test and one-day cricket and the maker of an unprecedented 100 international centuries, has already said he has been contemplating ending his iconic 23-year career.

    “I am 39 and I don’t think I have plenty of cricket left in me,” he said in a television interview in October.

    Asked if he has been thinking of retirement, he replied: “Of course, I have been.”

    “I am 39 plus and it is not abnormal for me to think of it. At that moment, I will go by what my heart says. At this moment, my heart says I am okay. But you will have to look at series by series.”

    It was the first time the record-breaking Mumbai batsman had spoken of retirement, and a recent run of poor scores has many wondering if the end was drawing closer.

    Tendulkar has scored a record 51 Test centuries, but he has now gone 28 innings without a hundred in the five-day format since his 146 against South Africa in Cape Town in January 2011.

    In 2012, he has managed just 274 runs in seven Tests at an average of 22.83, a far cry from his career figures – a record 15,562 runs in 192 Tests at 54.60.

    Recent media reports suggested that Tendulkar had discussed his future with the selectors, but this has been denied by both the Indian cricket board and close friends of the batsman.

    At least Kallis and Chanderpaul have the runs behind them to prevent speculation about their careers.

    This year alone, Kallis has smashed 905 in eight Tests at an amazing average of 75.41, with four centuries including 224 against Sri Lanka in January and 147 against Australia in Brisbane in November.

    Chanderpaul continues to defy critics as he piles on the runs for the West Indies.

    The 38-year-old left-hander scored 987 runs in his last nine Tests at an average of 98.70 and ended a remarkable year with two unbeaten marathons of 203 and 150 in Bangladesh in November.

    The Sri Lankan duo of Jayawardene and Sangakkara, both aged 35, head to Australia in December for a three-Test series with no immediate signs of fading away from the scene.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • Roar Guru

      December 1st 2012 @ 10:35am
      Andy_Roo said | December 1st 2012 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      The exodus of great players started with Laxman and Dravid, not with Ponting.

      • December 1st 2012 @ 3:24pm
        Jamie said | December 1st 2012 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

        Dravid, definitely. Laxman, I’m not sure I agree. His record against us was fantastic, but overall he was more probe to moments of brilliance than prolonged excellence

      • December 1st 2012 @ 6:18pm
        Rhys said | December 1st 2012 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

        Andy, I agree with you about Dravid.

        A year or so ago 7 of the top 12 run scorers of all time were all still active – Tendulkar, Ponting, Dravid, Kallis, Chanderpaul, Jayawardene & Sangakarra – the ‘Magnificent Seven’ of the modern game.

        I’m not sure all 7 will be considered by everyone as all time greats of Test cricket, but all 7 have built impressive records over long careers.

        I hope Tendulkar uses the Border-Gavaskar series in the new year as his swansong series. Watching him in the current series against England, he seems a shadow of his former self.

        Beyond that, I can see the other four playing on for a year or two yet. Kallis has openly stated the 2015 WC as a goal, Chanderpaul seems as resilient as ever, whilst the Sri Lankan champions, Jayawardene and Sangakarra, seem capable of batting on for a while yet.

      • Roar Rookie

        December 2nd 2012 @ 12:12am
        Neuen said | December 2nd 2012 @ 12:12am | ! Report

        I would say it started with Lara

    • Roar Guru

      December 2nd 2012 @ 3:15am
      ak said | December 2nd 2012 @ 3:15am | ! Report

      I don’t think Sachin will retire any time soon. He will be 40 next year. He started at 16 and now his daughter will be 16 next year. What a long career. He was written off a few years back but the period post the 2007 WC till the 2011 WC saw a reborn Sachin Tendulkar. Hope he gets his form back. Whether he was the best of his generation or not is an arguable topic. But he surely was the player who created the biggest craze as compared to any other player of his generation or maybe of all time and he still does.

    • December 2nd 2012 @ 6:33am
      Frankie Hughes said | December 2nd 2012 @ 6:33am | ! Report

      Neither Sangakkara or Jayawardene are ‘Legends’

      Piling on runs on flat pancakes proves nothing of their supposed class.

      Back to the main question.

      Tendulkar, followed by Chanderpaul then Kallis.

    • December 2nd 2012 @ 7:09am
      James said | December 2nd 2012 @ 7:09am | ! Report

      Tendulkar won’t retire soon – they will have to forcibly remove him from the field! Kallis showing increasing physical strain as he ages but probably will bowl less and become a specialist batsman. But good for us as we are fortunate to be able to watch these two legendary players continuing to keep the younger challengers at bay. Players such as these come about very rarely and I am thankful that I have lived long enough to have seen the likes of Bradman and all great players thereafter.
      Of all that I watched play, Bradman must be the best batsman ever, Warne the finest bowler, Gilchrist the best keeper, Colin Bland easily the best fielder and the greatest ever all round cricketer is certainly Kallis.And no I won’t get into pointless comparisons with Sobers who batted way down the order.I saw a lot of Sobers and is a legend but Kallis is the best ever.

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