As well as being from a different generation, Tendulkar, Dravid and them are also significantly older than the likes of Virat Kohli. What we mean by this is that people change over time. They grow up.
We say this not because we’re competing in a hotly-contested online state-the-obvious competition, but because people seem to think that India will basically just abandon Test cricket when these old duffers finally retire. It may well be that Kohli, Raina and Sharma aren’t Test-loving elder statesmen of the game right now, but nor were the big names once upon a time.
Early days for Virat Kohli
Kohli’s been around for years and he’s judged as such, but he’s actually only 23. Rahul Dravid didn’t make his Test debut until he was that age. Pretty much everything we know about Dravid took place when he was older than Kohli is now. That’s how we judge him.
If you want to compare attitudes more fairly, you’ll have to speak to Kohli in 16 years’ time.
There are definite signs that many younger players feel they can get more from cricket. Just as a seasoned cricket watcher might enjoy a Twenty20 match or two but tire of the format over time, so those on the pitch seem to follow a similar path.
When Kohli made his first Test hundred against Australia in Adelaide, he was, to put it mildly, emotional. His adrenal gland frequently goes into overdrive, but even by his standards he was fist-pumpingly screamy when he reached three figures. He’d earned it.
It was tough for him to get into the Test team, it was tough for him to stay there and, in Australia, he’s been up against it on and off the field. It wasn’t a celebration borne of just this one innings. Virat Kohli had a point to prove. In Test cricket.