Former England captain Michael Vaughan is of the opinion that the Indian Test team will soon be surrendering their No. 1 Test status to Old Blighty who possess a much younger side, filled with exuberance and promise and long, illustrious careers ahead of it.
Vaughan justified his claim by pointing to the fact that several simultaneous retirements from the India camp are in the offing with not many suitable players on the horizon to fill their very large shoes.
He said that similar trends will take hold of South Africa and Sri Lanka as well, leaving voids in those team, which would pave the way for England to claim the top spot in the longer version of the game.
"India are an ageing side. VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid will go soon. Zaheer Khan will not bowl forever and has suffered injuries. He missed the first Test of their series in South Africa and they lost," Vaughan said. "There is no gulf in class between No. 3 in the world and No. 1, which was the case when Australia were far better than anyone else," he added.
Even the South Africans would struggle to match England in terms of talent and experience in the near future, Vaughan opines.
"How much have South Africa got in reserve if Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn get injured or what happens when Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis retire," Vaughan wrote in his column of a leading British newspaper.
Talking about Kumar Sangakkara's side, the former England captain said, "Sri Lanka have lost Muttiah Muralitharan, who put them in the top bracket of teams. They will still score a lot of runs but if you cannot take 20 wickets it is difficult over a long period to win series."
"If you look at England then you can see Andrew Strauss going on for three or four years. The team can stay together for a long time and there is no great side for them to be fearful of," he reasoned.
"We have seen in this series that when Stuart Broad missed out Chris Tremlett came in and performed. The same for Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan. Ajmal Shahzad is waiting in the wings, Monty Panesar is in reserve and Adil Rashid will probably be ready in a year's time. Eoin Morgan is waiting patiently, hoping he will get a chance, " he added
Vaughan also said that the victory in the Melbourne Test, which helped England retain the Ashes, wasn't a surprise. The visitors were aided by Australia's very evident and steep decline in the recent past.