Bangalore, Jun 30: As things stand after three innings by the Indian batsmen in the Test series against West Indies, sadly the likes of Virat Kohli, Murli Vijay and Abhinav Mukund have failed to impress. It might be too early to judge their credentials, but what has been on display so far, is sufficient to say that these guys are still a very long way from carrying on the baton from the likes of Sehwag, Dravid and Laxman, leave alone Sachin Tendulkar.
Even Suresh Raina, who has been good so far looks susceptible to the short stuff and probably against better bowlers than Rampaul and Sammy, will find it hard to score runs. But he has shown a remarkable urge to improve his game and one should not be surprised if he continues to hold onto his place like Sourav Ganguly did despite his shortcomings.
All this brings us to a question of how far can India sustain its Numero Uno ranking in the Test arena after the likes Fab Four retire. The question warrants a thought as it has been two years since Sourav Ganguly, the fifth one among India's Fab Five, retired and there has not been a single batsman who has made the vacant spot his own. Yuvraj failed, Raina continues to struggle, Pujara is still a hope while the likes of Kohli and Vijay are too far from the race.
It is not easy to replace someone of the calibre of Ganguly and it won't be easier to do the same if any of the other four call it a day. While there is no doubt that the young Indian batsmen have enough talent to carve for themselves a niche in the Test arena, but the bigger question is do they have the intensity and the determination?
Sample this, Kohli, Vijay and Raina have all been part of the Indian team for a considerable period of time and thus should be aware of the fact that the entire cricketing world knows of their failing against the short-pitch stuff. They were bombarded with it in the World T20 matches, again the same happened during their Tour to South Africa and it will surely be used by the opposition when they tour England and Australia later this year. But not even once have they appeared at ease with the short-pitch stuff and leave that, except for Raina to some extent, there has been no signs of any visible efforts to improve the game against this strategy.