India's selectors have an unenviable task. Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid are a trio whose place in Indian cricket history has long since been assured. The problem, however, is it is unlikely even one will make the 2011 World Cup.
England are prone to having clearouts after each World Cup, immediately talking of 'planning for the future'. However, Australia refuse to countenance such seletorial upheavel. Matthew Hayden and Brad Hogg are both 36, but they remain integral parts of their ODI side. They will not play in the next 50-over World Cup, but Australia insist on picking their best side to win games and series in the meantime.
In continuing to pick the Big Three in one-dayers since the World Cup, India have made it clear their priority is to pick their best possible side. The problem is that, unlike for Australia, results have been poor. Conversely, when the trio were left out of the Tweny20 World Cup, India were victorious.
Officially, Rahul Dravid is now being 'rested' for the one-day series with Pakistan. Patently, this is because he has scored 88 runs in his past 10 ODI innings. His solidity, experience and class are still apparent but, after giving up the captaincy recently, he could surely do with a break to prepare himself for the Test series with Pakistan.
If the recalled Virender Sehwag does well in the one-dayers in the meantime, Dravid's ODI future will look increasingly uncertain. Nearing 35, he may consider retiring from ODIs. Slowly, India must look to replace their Big Three in 50-over cricket, or risk losing all three simultaneously sometime soon. Currently, Dravid is by far the most expendable.
Moreover, Dravid has hit just one fifty in his past six Test matches. A semi-retirement, along the lines of Shane Warne, could reinvigorate him and prolong the Test career of a man who, unquestionably, has played more match-winning innings in the five-day game than any other Indian. In one-dayers, some attention must be played to the future. But in Test matches, India certainly need Dravid back to his best.