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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

India need to phase out retirement of seniors: Akram

The retirement of India's senior cricketers should be done in a phased manner, according to Pakistan's pace legend Wasim Akram who said it was imperative for India to maintain the ideal blend of youth and experience in the Test team.

Akram said it was not easy to find immediate replacements for the senior players in Test cricket where experience counts a lot.

"It is important to maintain the right blend of youth and experience in the Test team. In Twenty20 cricket, you may need young legs, but you can't do without experience in Test cricket", Akram said.

Former captain Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly retired from international cricket after the recent Test series against Australia amidst speculation that some of the senior players had been given a deadline to hang their boots.

The intense media speculation on the future of the senior players has not amused the former Pakistan captain who said putting pressure on these stalwarts was extremely unfair.

"The players should be left to decide when they want to quit", he said.

"If too many senior players retire at the same time, there will be a big void. India should guard against that as it could weaken the Test team considerably", he said.

On Rahul Dravid's lean form, Akram said it was just a matter of one good knock and the seasoned batsman will rediscover his touch.

"He (Dravid) just needs one good knock. That will work wonders for him. Every player goes through a bad patch, he has failed in only two series. He is too good a player and there is no doubt that he will bounce back soon", the legendary paceman pointed out.

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