Farewell Tour and The Next Step – India South Africa 2013


India South Africa 2013 can be Sachin’s last tour. Also, the farewell tour marks the beginning of a whole new ‘volume’ in Test cricket for India. Come walk with us and be a part of the feeling that we all share.

India South Africa 2013 Farewell Tour
The last walk will be in South Africa?


India South Africa 2013 – Sachin Tendulkar’s Farewell Tour?

The drums beating in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy will die out soon. The teams will return to the selection table discussing ‘who and what’. For the Indian cricket team (and the fans), the next big thing will be the upcoming India South Africa 2013 tour. The tour is reportedly the last one for batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who will complete 25 years in Test cricket during this tour. Also, it is a tour which will test this young and energetic Indian side which is currently riding high post the 4-0 drubbing that they handed out to an Aussie side which looked completely ‘befuddled’ and in disarray.

However, more important to the Indian situation is an atmosphere of uncertainty and justified fear which has imbued the minds of the restless Indian fans. Are the rumors true? Is the big man really going to retire? Questions are darted out at will at tea shops, college canteens, office cubicles, traffic signals, the power-cut hours, morning walks, and social website forums and even during prayers for the other, originally recognized God.

For most Indian fans, cricket began with the little master’s debut and will end with his retirement. They view the game through the master blaster’s stats and records. When with them, even a couple of boundaries hit by Tendulkar are considered as valuables and are treasured like every single memory associated with the big man.

While announcing his ‘sudden’ retirement from the IPL, Sachin Tendulkar talked about his age for the first time and the fact that he must come to terms with it. His fans have ignored the age factor and they continue to do it, but such is the man that he knows his few limits better than his countless abilities. Thus Sachin Tendulkar has, in a way, announced that age does not permit him to be what he used to be. Thus the India South Africa 2013 tour can be the end of Sachin’s spectacular and amazingly unique Test career. The curtains will go down and we will all see that last walk. All during the India South Africa 2013 tour.

Why not reveal it? Why not tell everyone about it? The idea is to keep the sponsors guessing and the fans as well. Sachin Tendulkar – the cricketer, is also Sachin Tendulkar – the brand. A lot depends on Sachin’s retirement and that is why the decision, if already taken, is veiled.

India South Africa 2013 – The Next Step In Indian Cricket

Besides Sachin’s expected retirement, the South Africa tour will ask other questions and bring in some much needed answers. The team that will tour South Africa will actually be testing squad. India will get an idea as to where they are when it comes to overseas conditions unfavorable to the spin-friendly Indian batsmen. Also, the spin bowlers will get a whole new experience along with the fast bowlers who are struggling to come up with a reliable combination.

The tour is actually the next step in the building of a whole new Indian Test squad. The last support system i.e. Sachin Tendulkar will also leave the squad creating a big deficit in the experience sector. Sehwag and Gambhir are now being ignored which means no experience at the top order whatsoever. With Harbhajan and Zaheer facing the axe, a struggling Ishant Sharma hardly accounts for any useful experience in the bowling department.

The South African fast bowlers will be aiming at the helmet grills and the proud and swollen chest of the Indian batsmen, who are returning after humiliating the Aussie bowlers on a soil quite familiar to the likes of Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan. They will bang in it and dig it out. They will move it in and swing it away. The likes of Steyn and Morkel will leave no stone unturned in ringing the sweet chin music when bowling to this new and fresh lot of Indian batsmen. India has been struggling to come up with a reliable opening pair, if all goes well, by the end of this tour, we might have gifted ourselves a consistent opening pair.

Then there is the fast bowlers’ bench which misses Zaheer Khan the most. Ishant Sharma was a buzz when he first charged in with his hair flocks flying around, but now he is getting dragged around by batsmen conceding runs and struggling to get wickets. Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will have to respond to the call of the team. They will have to perform and justify the trust the selectors have put into the team. Ravichandran Ashwin will have to lead a depleted spin attack; he might get support from Mishra or Ojha.

All in all, the tour holds all the possibilities of being that next chapter of the Indian Test innings. Autumn is here, the old leaves have fallen… we must be ready for spring now or the winter will wipe us out.