Seniors cannot be replaced by youngsters: Dhoni

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Published: Sunday, March 11, 2012, 16:56 [IST]
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Youngsters can't match legends: Dhoni

Dhaka, Mar 11: India captain MS Dhoni urged his young guns not to put themselves under pressure to copy batting legends like Sachin Tendulkar and retired Rahul Dravid.

Dravid, on Friday, announced his retirement from international cricket making way for several youngsters such as Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma to stake a claim for his number three slot.

"Every individual is different and anyone who comes in the side should not even think of replacing the kind of seniors that we have got," Dhoni told reporters on the eve of the four-nation Asia Cup.

"The youngsters will (put themselves) under tremendous pressure if they start to think like that. They are legends of the game, enjoyed the sport and played with the right kind of spirit throughout.

"Anil (Kumble), Rahul, Sachin, (Vangipurappu) Laxman, Sourav (Ganguly), it's tough to replace them so there is no point thinking you have players who will replace them."

Dravid showed pure class during the tour of England but failed to perform during the tour Down Under. Dravid, Tendulkar and VVS Laxman have scored over 45,000 Test runs but failed to score a single century between them.

Virat Kohli managed to be the only centurion during the Australia tour, but in-form Rohit Sharma was sidelined and had to wait for chance to prove himself during the Tests series.

"Every individual is special, he brings special character into the side so definitely somebody will get an opportunity to become a hero for team India," said the captain.

"Maybe in 10 to 12 years' time you will have a cricketer who will be very successful. But to say whether they will replace Rahul or talent like that, it's difficult."

While many are line to fill in the gaps in the coming future, Dhoni paid tribute to one of the greatest Test cricket batsman in the history.

"He was someone who loved challenges. He is someone who will definitely be missed. He is the ideal role model and a good ambassador for the sport."

The Asia Cup will be contested by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and hosts Bangladesh.

The first game of the biennial event is between Bangladesh and Pakistan on Sunday.

India will play against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, March 13 in Dhaka.


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