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We met the Great One in 1989, when he introduced himself to us with high notes hit by bat and vocal chord. Then the rest came. In 1990, The Precise One, a scholarly warrior who unveiled his spinning craft with devotion; in 1992, The Defiant One, a steely, stylish man of amusing, aristocratic belligerence; in 1996, The Intense One, cricket’s student who batted like a monk upholding a vow of discipline; and finally The Elegant One, who was a Japanese haiku master in a previous life.

Now especially, even though occasionally it is painful to see them lurch and stagger, feet mixed up and bat late. But I have to watch. Because they’re Great, Precise, Defiant, Intense, Elegant. Because soon enough, a few months, a year, whether they walk away or must be pushed, there will be an Indian team without the names Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman, Kumble. Imagine that? I’d rather not.

Source : Cricinfo