Over the years whenever India has occupied the prime spot in the ICC rankings it is the batting more than the bowling that has been responsible. Batting has been Indian cricket’s traditional strength and this was emphasized during the golden era of the “Fab Five’’ when thanks to the star-studded line-up of Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman Indian batting touched Himalayan heights.
Today India are again No 1 in the Test rankings and once again it is no small measure to the batting despite the superb showing by Ravi Ashwin in his role as a bowler. The middle order is in the capable hands of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Ashwin but no less credit is due to the top order in which Murali Vijay and Cheteswar Pujara have excelled. Shikhar Dhawan has faltered after a dream start, Gautam Gambhir’s days are certainly over and Lokesh Rahul has not really established himself in the line-up but thanks to the sterling displays of Vijay and Pujara India have almost always got off to a sound start which has made it easier for the middle order to build the innings.
It could not have been easy for Vijay and Pujara to follow in the footsteps of Sehwag and Dravid but in their own way they have stepped into the shoes of their illustrious predecessors admirably. One can expect a swashbuckling opening batsman like Sehwag to appear on the scene perhaps once in a generation but if the traditional role of an op