New Delhi, Mar 10: Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar said Rahul Dravid's decision to retire from cricket has left a big hole in Indian cricket.
"It will be a big hole to fill. It was a decision in the pipeline for some time, because once a player gets 35-36, talks of leaving the game are at the back of his mind, so really didn't come as a surprise," he said.
Gavaskar also said it will be difficult to fill the gap left by Dravid but it is a good opportunity for youngsters.
"We always think, not only in cricket but in different walks of life, it will be difficult to replace somebody. While obviously the style will be very different, there will be younger players coming," Gavaskar said.
"The results will not be immediate but they will be soon enough. Indian cricket fans will have some new hero to look up to, some new idol to cheer. That is the nature of the sport," he further added.
Former Indian coach Anshuman Gaekwad feels Rahul Dravid's decision was a tough one to take but applauded his decision to step down and make way for the youngsters.
"It's a bold decision. A tough decision for anyone to take. He probably doesn't feel he has no cricket left. He is making way for the youngsters which is amazing. It's sort of an example for many others," said Gaekwad.
Gaewad praised Dravid's determination and passion towards cricket.
"I know him closely. When I was the coach, he was recognised as the Test cricketer. I was there as selector when Dravid made debut alongside Ganguly. That was a brilliant beginning. I knew he had the mettle in him. I was the one to get him to one-dayers. I somehow convinced the other selectors that he will be good in the one-dayers as well.
"He was very disciplined and focused. I never told him he needs to work hard on batting or physical fitness. He was a self-made cricketer. He was very confident. He knew exactly what he needs to be doing even in adverse condition. He is a role model for any youngster. Leaving aside Sachin Tendulkar, if you want to emulate, it has to be Rahul Dravid," he added.