The Indian Cricket Team has been home to several legendary cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, and many others. These cricketers served the nation during their prime, and when the right time came, they walked away from the sport.
Just like that, almost every retired cricketer ended his career at the perfect time. Depending on the prominence of the player, the cricket boards plan farewell for the players quitting the sport. Ashish Nehra received a fantastic farewell from the ground. In the same way, Sachin Tendulkar had a grand retirement match at the Wankhede Stadium.
Unfortunately, not every legend received a proper retirement. Here’s a list of the 5 Indian legendary cricketers who should have retired from the ground.
Former Indian opener, Virender Sehwag, was an integral part of India’s two World Cup-winning campaigns. The explosive batsman from Delhi set the tone of the innings with his incredible clean hitting and timing. As time passed, Sehwag lost his golden touch. The rise of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan closed the doors for the legend as the selectors dropped him from the squad. He played his last international match against Australia in 2013 and did not get a proper farewell.
Virender Sehwag’s opening partner, Gautam Gambhir was also a part of both the Indian squads that lifted the World Cups. Gambhir played match-winning knocks for the nation against Pakistan in 2007 and versus Sri Lanka in 2011. Still, when he lost his form, the selectors did not give him enough chances. He performed consistently in the IPL. However, because of the rise of new openers, Gambhir never returned to the team after 2016. The former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper retired in 2018.
The man of the 2011 World Cup series, Yuvraj Singh, was the biggest match-winner for India in the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 50-overs tournament played four years later. His all-round brilliance helped India win many matches. He had to take a break from the sport because of cancer. But, Singh was back in the side after defeating the disease. He struggled to find his mojo again at the international level. Hence, he could not cement his place and played his last game two years before announcing his retirement formally.
Zaheer Khan was India’s best bowler in the 2011 World Cup. He bowled a career-defining first spell in the final match of the competition. However, the selectors did not back him much after the World Cup because of his injury issues. The fact that he did not get a chance to play ODIs after 2012 solidifies the statement made above. Even though he performed well in the domestic circuit, Zaheer never got his place back in the team. He announced his retirement in 2015.
While all the names mentioned ahead had been a part of the World Cup-winning squads, VVS Laxman had changed Indian cricket by playing some beautiful knocks in Test cricket. He taught the nation how to beat Australia. Fewer fans would know that the selectors had picked Laxman for the 2012 Test series against New Zealand. However, Laxman quit international cricket before the Tests to give the new batsmen a chance. He then played a few FC games before taking up the roles of a commentator and a coach. It would have been great had the board tried to give Laxman a farewell series against New Zealand.