File photo of India batsman Sachin Tendulkar who will retire after his 200th Test. (AFP)
In less than a month's time, the last of India's 'Fab Four' will join the other three with his feet up, sitting and analysing cricket rather than playing in the middle. With his 200th Test, Sachin Tendulkar will walk into the sunset of his career. And with that will come a familiar question: who after Tendulkar?
Rahul Dravid, who quit in March 2012, feels India has options but with an asterisk that says, "it will take time".
Talking to a television channel, Dravid said it's wrong to expect anybody becoming Tendulkar overnight. "India has options. But we will have to give them time. Anybody won't become Tendulkar overnight. It took time to become Tendulkar," Dravid told the TV channel.
"We have good cricketers. We are seeing in one-day cricket; Virat kohli and Rohit Sharma are there. I am not saying they are Tendulkars, but they will get time to make their name," Dravid added.
Dravid quoted Gavaskar's example to assure that India will learn to cope without Tendulkar part of the eleven. "Life moves on. It's hard to imagine a team in Indian cricket without Tendulkar playing a part in it, particularly Test cricket. But the same was with Gavaskar at one stage. Generations were used to seeing Gavaskar. It happens. New people come in and new heroes come in and people get inspired with someone like Sachin," he explained.
The Karnataka batsman, however, maintained that it will be difficult to get past Tendulkar in terms of numbers. "Statistically, he will be the greatest cricketer ever - the amount of runs, amount of matches he has played," Dravid said, while adding: "But my lasting memory of Sachin is the way he carried himself on and off the field. His greatest achievement is the way he handled the expectations of a billion people."