When you lose eight consecutive overseas Tests after beginning the season as the No.1-ranked side in the world, it's time to take some tough decisions. To a large extent, India's selectors have been spared that. First, Rahul Dravid retired. And now, on the eve of a new season, VVS Laxman has followed suit. The changes that may have been contemplated are now upon us by default.
I'm not for a second saying that Dravid and Laxman would have been dropped. National caps should not be handed out so easily, and Virat Kohli aside, no one from the younger generation has made a convincing case to be an integral part of the line-up. Kohli is a cut above the rest and his performances in international cricket so far mean that we can't compare him with any of the others.
Suresh Raina and S Badrinath both have experience of the big time. Raina has had his issues, especially against the short ball, while Dale Steyn roughed up Badrinath in his debut series.