In January 1984, Greg Chappell, Rod Marsh and Dennis Lillee left together, setting off Australia’s worst-ever phase.
In August 1991, Viv Richards, Jeff Dujon and Malcolm Marshall left West Indies in a spot of bother. Similarly in January 2007, the joint departure of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer started Australia’s downfall.
Luckily for India, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble retired in 2008, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in 2012 and Tendulkar has left now. And one thing he must be proud of, he’s leaving a team that has won six consecutive Tests. And Tendulkar would hope that all the knowledge he’s passed on to youngsters will pay dividends.
After retiring from ODIs last year, Tendulkar spent close to 50 days with the Mumbai team. And it was the most critical period for the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, batsmen on the fringes of the team. “Usually it’s not easy getting so much access to Sachin during international matches. But I got to spend so much time with him. It made me a better player,” says Rahane.
“A lot of us also realised that Sachin is very approachable and always ready to share his knowledge. It’s because he is such a big star...some of us were not initially comfortable.” Indeed. On Saturday, Rohit said Tendulkar wanted to continue sharing knowledge post retirement.
And Tendulkar is not done playing coach. “It is a nice thought to open a cricket academy. I’d like to be involved with youngsters. I’ve been interacting with players from U-19 and Ranji teams. They’ve been low-profile and private. It’s a nice thing. These interactions teach you things about the game,” he said.
In his last few years in the India dressing room, Tendulkar realised it was worth sharing all his knowledge. “I have shared my experiences, my observations on their batting. It is all about talking, breathing cricket. Talking about the new generation, all the guys, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team. Bhuvneshwar was not even born when I started playing...I have jokingly told some of them to say ‘good morning, sir’ when I enter the dressing room.”
Sourav Ganguly has already endorsed Tendulkar as a future coach. When asked about the state of Indian coaching, Tendulkar, who had issues with former coaches Greg Chappell and Kapil Dev, said: “To me, a proper coach is one who understands the players. He’s like your friend. At this level, we all know how to play the cover drive. But when you have a technical problem, you should be able to sit and sort out with the coach. It’s what you put between those two ears.
He added: “As long as the relationship between the coach and player is healthy, where any sort of problem a player has he has to be able to confide in his coach and trust it won’t be leaked, to have that confidence in a coach, it is so, so important.”