Australia in India 2012-13 March 8, 2013

India need Sehwag in South Africa - Laxman

ESPNcricinfo staff

Axed India opener Virender Sehwag has found support from his former team-mate, VVS Laxman, who has said he "cannot imagine" an India team without Sehwag on the year-end tour of South Africa. Laxman said there was nothing wrong with Sehwag's reflexes, and felt he should have been playing in the third and fourth Tests against Australia to rediscover his form instead of being dropped midway through the series.

"The selectors are forgetting that the next Test series will be against South Africa," Laxman told Mumbai Mirror. "There should be a plan and vision for that series. When India go to South Africa, it is important to have a good mix of experience and youth. I cannot imagine an Indian team without Sehwag in those tough South African conditions. India cannot afford to go to South Africa without Sehwag."

Sehwag was dropped after making 2 and 19 in Chennai and 6 in Hyderabad against Australia following returns of 25, 30, 9, 23, 49 and 0 against England. The string of average scores came after his century in Ahmedabad, his first in two years. He hasn't made a hundred outside the subcontinent in five years. Laxman, however, said he should have been given two more matches, the only Tests India play before the South Africa tour.

"In Chennai, he was unlucky to have played on in the first innings," Laxman said. "Then in the second innings there and in the first innings in Hyderabad, good deliveries got him out. It was not that he threw away his wicket. It is not the right time to drop him.

"It was important to give him two more matches. Especially in Mohali [the venue for the third Test], Sehwag has always done well. The wicket there would have suited his game. It was a matter of one good knock for him to get back into form. Keeping in view the South Africa series, it is not a right decision. This would have been an ideal chance for him to come back into form."

Sehwag, 34, batted wearing glasses in Chennai and Hyderabad, and there were suggestions his reflexes were slowing down. Laxman dismissed them, saying Sehwag had a lot of cricket left in him. "There is a lot of talk about his glasses. Do you know how many players use contact lenses? I think someone uses the lenses just to make sure that his eyes are fine. I don't know why people are making such hue and cry about the glasses. I see no problems with Sehwag's reflexes."

Laxman said Sehwag had shown signs of returning to form during the second innings in Chennai and was confident he would be able to make a comeback. "Everyone goes through a lean patch. Sehwag is also going through bad form. But he is too good a player to be out of form for too long. I'm sure he will play wherever possible and his performance will talk for him.

"The South Africa series is in December. So there are enough matches for him to make a case for himself. The domestic season would have started before that. He will have got enough matches to prove himself by then."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lokesh on March 11, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    For SA: wW Jaffer, M Vijay, C Pujara, S Tendulkar, A Rahane, V Kohli, MS Dhoni (wk), Ifran Pathan, Zaheer Khan (is he is the Z Khan we know)/B Kumar/P Kumar/, Umesh Yadav, Ravichanadran Ashwin

    If Yadav is injured call Aaron in considering they should recover by December

  • Tim on March 11, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    Please India, please please select him to tour South Africa. He is a walking wicket and will mean India will only have 9 batsmen. His usual cavalier flashing at anything outside off has no place in SA. Our bowlers will have him on toast (...again!).

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    unless and until sehwag changes his game style......we cannnot take him to SA. Dont you think Steyn & co. will watch his videos and make out the weakness of him. And as it it steyn has already played him on 4-5 tours so he will know how to bowl him. There are always times when you need to make changes in your game.

  • uncle bob on March 10, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    VVS was a great batsman but he is a very poor cricket analyzer. No surprise he was sacked as a captain of Hyderabad team. He performed pathetically as an icon and captain of the Deccan Charger. And now he is here to to give advice to most successful captain India has. Irony at its best.

  • Anit on March 10, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    VVS is dead wrong on this. Shewag has not done much in the last three overseas trips. His weaknesses have been figured out by all. I have more faith in Gambhir doing well than Shewag. India is not totally without experience. Dhoni, Gambhir and SRT are experienced. Ishant Sharma has been around for 5 years. However, he is another bowler needing a boot. Bottom line is that the Indian team can't afford to carry dead weight in the name of experience. Their non-performance can have really bad impact on the young than positive.

  • Al on March 10, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Agree with @ChuckyDoll - Sehwag only provides "virtual" assurance. It is all about risk management. The way Sehwag plays, putting in a yonger player does not increase the risk factor any more than banking on Sehwag. So dropping Sehwag is okay not because a rookie is going to solve the opening conundrum but becasue Sehwag has had his time. Its time for another opener to give a 1 to 2 year run at the spot. And mind you, Sehwag got a looooong rope. No matter who you put in SA, they are going to struggle. Let's face it. How come @ChuckyDoll understands more about Indian cricket than Laxman ?? Now, I don't wonder why VVS was never considered for Captain's role.

  • uncle bob on March 10, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    VVS has become very very biased and is trying to use his position of commentator to settle score with Dhoni. He like Nampally will criticize Dhoni for anything and everything. Mark my words. However in the process he will lose all his respect becoz Dhoni is going to rebuild a young winning team no matter what these pseudo experts have to say.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    Keep giving chances to 34+ players is rubbish. India is going in the right direction by replacing oldies one by one. Now we have Kohli for Laxman and Pujara for Dravid. I'm not a Murali Vijay fan who I know is not a long term prospect with given technique. Unmukt Chand or Ajinkya Rahane can be better prospect. But again Unmukt is too young to don a Test Cap. So we are rebuilding on a right note. It's time for Sehwag, Bhajji, and Zaheer to take a call as for Sachin being selfish myself I can't imagine me watching cricket without him

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Why not taking same kind of attitude to wards Sachin? This is not fair. Why Harbajan in? Let Veru to come down the order. He already mentioned his intention. Without Veru the result from SA will be 4-0 whitewash with innings defeat. His presence makes more confidence for other batters in the team. So I request Patil & Co. to reconsider their decision to save Indian team.

  • Raj on March 10, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    I have to echo the sentiments of most of the others. I admired VVS as a cricketer but his comments are old school and full of sentiment. As a Viru fan I don't like seeing him struggle but he has had his time-in fact longer than he has deserved-he is far too inconsistent and it is high time new blood is brought in. We also need to lose Harbajan and Ishant. Both are under performing. Bring in Ojah and another pace bowler-if we have one in over a billion people!! Is Yadav still injured? There must be somene out there!! We also need our fast bowles and the team as a whole to get fitter and put in some hard consistent work at the gym. If Bhuneshwar bulked up a little and maybe Ishant too they may gain 5km/hr pace. This can make all the difference as pure raw pace is not always necessary-look at Philander-what a success story. Rest of team is fine-Sachin should look at calling it a day soon though and go out gracefully-best ever. Also compulsary county cricket stints for all!