As if sticking to the old adage, “Leave when people are left wondering ‘why now’ not ‘why not’?”, Rahul Sharad Dravid has bid goodbye to the chair of captaincy after leading India to its first series triumph over England in 21 years. India’s most reliable batsman has been quoted as saying that he was not enjoying the captaincy any more, that he wanted to concentrate on his batting, etc. And the cricket board chief, Sharad Rao Pawar, has said that Dravid had indicated his inclination a while ago. And there are reports of “shock” at the decision. Some like Bishen Singh Bedi are wondering if Dravid had abdicated “responsibility”, some others like Chetan Chauhan has said Dravid had got his timing wrong.
Questions: Who should succeed Dravid? Should the mantle pass on to Sachin Tendulkar, as is being widely rumoured, who recently told an interviewer that he had not enjoyed his previous tenures? Should it go to a younger person like Virender Sehwag or Mahender Singh Dhoni? Or should it go to a rank “outsider” like V.V.S. Laxman? Has Dravid quit to concentrate on batting, or is his resignation the firmest evidence that the knives have been out for him within the team since the World Cup, culminating in the hoo-ha over his decision not to enforce the follow-on in the Oval Test?
Photograph: Karnataka Photo News