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Stagger the exit of senior players: Gavaskar

Dubai, Nov 5 (UNI) Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels that it will be wise to stagger the exit of senior players as replacing their experience would be a difficult task.

Holding that it will be tough to replace Anil Kumble, he said India will have to look for somebody who would do half as well as he did.

''Somebody who has taken 600 wickets and close to 1,000 international wickets cannot be easily replaced,'' remarked Little Master, who was here for the HSCB annual cricket awards ceremony.

''We could see that he was not bowling as well as he did it the past, but then that was expected. No one can bat or bowl as well as he did in his 20s while in his 30s.'' The legendary opener feels that he has quit at the right time.

''Kumble has gone on a high, picking up three wickets and even taking a running catch with an injured finger. The game will have to go on and India will have to look for somebody who can come and do half as well as Kumble did,'' he said.

However, he is happy that there are talented leg spinners waiting in the wings.

''We are very fortunate that we have a young spinner in Amit Mishra, who took five wickets on his debut. Piyush Chawla, in the limited opportunities, has shown a lot of promise. Chawla is two years younger than Mishra. Both are terrific young cricketers. They may not be destroyers of an innings like Kumble, but both can serve India for long,'' the record-setting batsman told 'The Gulf News'.

When asked about the likely impact of the the exit of senior players, Gavaskar said, ''It is always difficult to replace experience. You can bring in new energy but it is difficult to replace experience. One should stagger the exit of these senior players. All of them going out at the same time will result in the Indian team finding it tough to recapture the same solidity of the past.

Referring to the Fab Five, he said, ''We have already lost two from the Fab Five, but the other three are there and the way they are playing, they will be there for sometime.'' UNI XC PY LS RK1205

Story first published: Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 12:36 [IST]
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