There was a moment during India’s run chase against Pakistan that stood out for me (for the wrong reasons): the producers decided they needed to add a little perspective to the Kohli and Co’s frantic scoring, so they showed a slow-motion shot of Kohli and Rohit Sharma bumping fists and laughing. Sunil Gavaskar says something like, “I think we are seeing a glimpse of India’s batting future here.” Then, the camera showed a fluttering Indian flag somewhere in the stadium. As production goes, not bad — but it reminded me of that moment in The Truman Show where a producer manipulates the script and camera shots to show Jim Carrey’s character in a flattering light for his “hero shot.”
It’s hard for me just yet to see Sharma or Kohli fill in the shoes of Dravid or Tendulkar (or Kallis or Ponting). Part of the problem is that it’s difficult to imagine 20-something brats as statesmen, a label that you only receive (it seems) when you hit the early to mid-thirties. Then again, Kevin Pietersen has been playing for nearly a decade now, and I still can’t shake off his ridiculous early mohawk-like haircut from the Oval, 2005. This isn’t to knock any of these athletes — they’re all phenomenally talented. But worthy of a Gavaskar-produced tribute and an ode to India’s future? To me, Dravid and Co. were the first-generation stalwarts who established a dynasty and saw it flourish; these guys seem like the second-generation floozies who may just throw away the inheritance for a Ferrari.