December 12, 2007

Selectors punt on Sehwag

Any which way you look at it, the inclusion of Virender Sehwag for the tour of Australia is an interesting one
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Virender Sehwag is a surprise inclusion for the Test team to Australia © AFP

Any which way you look at it, the inclusion of Virender Sehwag for the tour of Australia is an interesting one. The selectors pulled one surprise asking Munaf Patel to play more domestic cricket before he would be considered for international duty, preferring the largely untested Pankaj Singh instead. But it was the inclusion of Sehwag, not in the long-list of 24, that merits most discussion.

It was only three days ago that Ian Chappell wrote, in a column on Cricinfo asking where Viru was, suggesting that India had made their first mistake in their tour of Australia before even reaching antipodean shores. Chappell quoted that gambling adage: "You've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em," and then wrote, "Now was not the right time to give up on Virender Sehwag."

Well, it seems India haven't. It's as yet unclear how Sehwag made the cut, not being among the reserve openers, but there are few likely scenarios. The first is that the selectors' hand was forced by Gautam Gambhir's shoulder injury and that though they included Aakash Chopra in the 24 probables, he was never seriously in their plans. But having just scored big runs in domestic cricket, they felt obliged to include him in the probables.

The second scenario is that Anil Kumble specifically asked for Sehwag to be included, and the selectors acquiesced, but this would seemingly leave Kumble in quite a spot come the first Test in Melbourne. Will the team play an out-of-form Sehwag as an opener and leave out Yuvraj, who is in the middle of a purple patch? They can't even contemplate dropping any of the other middle-order batsmen. As it is, there's a log-jam for batting spots, and one school of thought was that Rahul Dravid would be persuaded to open, Dinesh Karthik left out, and Yuvraj could play in the middle order.

Leaving Karthik out is one thing, but it makes little sense to take Sehwag all the way to Australia - after all he is not a promising youngster to be taken on tour to gain experience - and not play him. Sehwag is a little over 29, not in very good form, and not the most enthusiastic man on the bench. If Sehwag is a starter as opener, alongside Wasim Jaffer, then there's no place in the XI for Yuvraj Singh.

The name of another makeshift opener, Irfan Pathan, is doing the rounds, and that's more than just a bit odd, given that two Tests ago Pathan was not even in the Indian squad.

 
On the bouncy pitches and hard outfields of Australia a batsman can get serious value for shots, as Sehwag himself showed the last time India toured, almost scoring 200 in a day in Melbourne. If Sehwag can play just one innings like that this time round, the gamble would have paid off. If he can't, it might just be the end of the road for Sehwag.
 

But all this is secondary to Sehwag's selection in the squad. He's clearly not been picked for what he has done in domestic cricket since being dropped, which is scores of 16, 0, 9, 32, 9. He's been picked for that X-factor, that something special he brings, or more accurately, once brought, to international cricket.

It was only Twenty20 that gave Sehwag a foot in the door, and even he acknowledged that playing low-profile domestic matches was not going to get him back in the side. "When I get back I'll try and play with controlled aggression and score big runs," he had told Cricinfo in August. Neither happened in the three one-dayers that he was picked for.

What is worrisome is what Sehwag did in his last few international innings. Against Pakistan he made 25, 43 and 10 in the three outings he got. While it's not always a good idea to look at one-day form and assess a player for Tests, this was a time when Sehwag was batting for his place in the side. And in each of those knocks a Sehwag flaw revealed itself. In the first game, after getting a start, he made room to cut Shahid Afridi, a loose shot at best; in the second he was run out where a dive would have saved him; the third was a flash outside off to the left-arm angle of Sohail Tanvir. Just where was that hunger to perform and regain a place in the side?

Imran Khan, the former Pakistan captain, made the point recently, that conditions in Australia, unlike England where the ball swings quite a bit, could suit Sehwag's minimal footwork style of play. What the selectors, and presumably the team think-tank, are hoping for, is the Sehwag of old. On the bouncy pitches and hard outfields of Australia a batsman can get serious value for shots, as Sehwag himself showed the last time India toured, almost scoring 200 in a day in Melbourne. If Sehwag can play just one innings like that this time round, the gamble would have paid off. If he can't, it might just be the end of the road for Sehwag.

Anand Vasu is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • aditya16_2006 on December 18, 2007, 5:02 GMT

    I feel, we definitely have a pool of talent, and what needs to be done is try and play Pankaj Singh, Viru, Yuvi, Dravid and Pathan in the upcoming match against Victoria. Pathan whould do the opening just to gauge his potential and not to try and squeeze him in that slot. I feel that Yuvi should be in the middle order of the playing 11 and make either Viru or Dravid open the innings, depending on who clicks. If Pathan clicks as an opener then he could be tried in the 1st test with Dravid in the middle and Pankaj (if impressive on those pitches) coming as a fifth bowler. It will make sense to play 5 bowlers with "Dada" and Yuvi providing additional bowling option. I dont see a sense of including another batsmen if top 6 fail to perform; also in that case we atleast have a 5th bowler to bowl the opposition out. All this is easy to say but will be very hard to put in action. But overall the Aussies will have a tough team to deal with. Shreesanth will be badly missed for his Antics.

  • TrueIndianFan on December 18, 2007, 0:44 GMT

    Can someone explain to me why Sehwag is included? Karthik could have been an ideal opening partner for Jaffer! (should something happen Dravid could fill up the slot temporarily...Anyways it is always the case that he comes to bat in 2nd or 3rd over :-) Sehwag is more like hit or miss type.. Consistency is something Sehwag's game is totally devoid off! Mr.Kumble said "We have the potential to beat Australia because we have the batting line-up to put runs on the board,"... isn't it the bowling that gets the beating everytime we tour down under.... I seriously doubt if there is any bowler who would trouble the aussie batsman.... There is neither raw pace nor disturbing seam in our players arsenal that would provoke aussies... In my view players to watch out for: Sourav, Yuvraj (really glad that there is someone to step into Sachin's shoes when the little master quits!),Laxman [ Australian Specialist :) ] and Irfan (purely for his batsmen skills) But as an ardent fan, I want India to win

  • Shaju.K on December 16, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    Selection of Sehwag is not a blunder. He has the capability and has shown in the past against Ausies. His batting average in test cricket itself speaks for himself. So I don't think a debate is necessary regarding this. Inclusion of younger talents is always welcomed but must not be on the expense of experienced warhorses with proven track records...!!!!

  • Redarrow on December 15, 2007, 10:54 GMT

    Segwag's selection is strange one at present situation where india have the question to play one of six(dravid,laxman,tendulkar,ganguly,yuvraj or dhoni)as opener with jaffer.at the moment it will be unfair to drop yuvi from playing 11,and it will be good if laxman or dravid can open as rest of 4 have no experience in opening in tests.So,what will segwag do in Australia,"esepcially when our board,when dropped ganguly,was saying that it would be not worth to select ganguly and not to play him in 11."Only possibility to include segwag is that if one of opener or other batsman is injured,in that case also it would have been better if selecters had opted for Badrinath or any other emerging batsman ,keeping in view of future as obiviously segwag is not going to replace tendulkar,laxman or dravid at least in tests.any way Ian CHAPPEL will be happy as he made indian selectors to commit "FIRST MISTAKE" even before the tour started.

  • anerudh on December 15, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    India could well play with the following options.... 1)ask karthik to keep and play yuvi in place of dhoni 2)play yuvi for karthik with himself or dhoni to open 3)ask dravid to open and play yuvi in his place in all the cases the axe is ready on karthik or dhoni....and viru does not fit into the picture anywhere......for him it might turn out to be a well paid excursion... The only way to win a test is to take wickets.and India will surely miss the services of sreesanth here...he is a naturally(atleast on the field)aggresive and wicket takin bowler....the best way to is to have 3 medium pacer and kumble as the lone spinner.....zaheer and rp naturally fit in the two pacer slot...and ma be pathan should be played bcos of his battin abilities......vvs, sachin,ganguly and jaffer will be our key batsmen and let us wish dravid and dhoni/karhikstrike form as soon as possible

  • SriKan on December 15, 2007, 6:04 GMT

    Sehwag has in the past shown the ability to fluster the Aussie bowlers rhythm. He can be considered as he is a matchwinner. However, leaving out Murali Kartik is a mistake. He can be a good asset than Harbhajan atleast in Adelaide. I hope Zaheer and one of the fast bowlers hit the stride in the bouncier pitches.

  • PrasadSalgaonkar on December 14, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    I am a Mumbaikar and feel so sorry for people like "TRIC" who remak on basis of region/location. Moderators should filter out such remakrs and look for positive and healthy cricket comments and suggestions. Cricinfo has very good reputation and allowing postings like these will make it look like any other cheap web-sites. Sorry Mr./Ms. TRIC, people like you go no where in life.

  • PrasadSalgaonkar on December 14, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    I feel, we definitely have a pool of talent, and what needs to be done is try and play Pankaj Singh, Viru, Yuvi, Dravid and Pathan in the upcoming match against Victoria. Pathan whould do the opening just to gauge his potential and not to try and squeeze him in that slot. I feel that Yuvi should be in the middle order of the playing 11 and make either Viru or Dravid open the innings, depending on who clicks. If Pathan clicks as an opener then he could be tried in the 1st test with Dravid in the middle and Pankaj (if impressive on those pitches) coming as a fifth bowler. It will make sense to play 5 bowlers with "Dada" and Yuvi providing additional bowling option. I dont see a sense of including another batsmen if top 6 fail to perform; also in that case we atleast have a 5th bowler to bowl the opposition out. All this is easy to say but will be very hard to put in action. But overall the Aussies will have a tough team to deal with. Shreesanth will be badly missed for his Antics.

  • DevSaha on December 14, 2007, 12:21 GMT

    Sehwag is the past and he should now become a commentator is DD or something. He has nothing to offer to Indian Team. Rather than take a fossil like him, India should take a young opener to Aus.

  • Diwakar on December 14, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    Sehwag should not be a part of the team. As Anand Vasu says, taking him to Australia and not playing him in the XI is utterly useless. He has not done anything in recent memory to warrant a recall to the side.

    Yuvraj should get a fair run. As a bowler he is as good (or mediocre) as Sehwag, his fielding is way better than Sehwag's and most others' in the team and his current form is awesome. Where is the sense in Yuvraj making way for Sehwag?

    I am not wholly convinced, however, that Sehwag should go to Australia. But if he must, and if Karthik is in the XI just because he is willing to open, he is the one who should give up his place to Sehwag. That sounds equally ridiculous. In fact, Karthik should be in the team as the keeper who can bat. Given a reasonably long stint behind the stumps, he can prove as useful as SMH. His keeping is not in the same league but he is young and has the potential to improve. Dhoni, then, should be the one to stick to ODI's and let Sehwag play Tests.

  • aditya16_2006 on December 18, 2007, 5:02 GMT

    I feel, we definitely have a pool of talent, and what needs to be done is try and play Pankaj Singh, Viru, Yuvi, Dravid and Pathan in the upcoming match against Victoria. Pathan whould do the opening just to gauge his potential and not to try and squeeze him in that slot. I feel that Yuvi should be in the middle order of the playing 11 and make either Viru or Dravid open the innings, depending on who clicks. If Pathan clicks as an opener then he could be tried in the 1st test with Dravid in the middle and Pankaj (if impressive on those pitches) coming as a fifth bowler. It will make sense to play 5 bowlers with "Dada" and Yuvi providing additional bowling option. I dont see a sense of including another batsmen if top 6 fail to perform; also in that case we atleast have a 5th bowler to bowl the opposition out. All this is easy to say but will be very hard to put in action. But overall the Aussies will have a tough team to deal with. Shreesanth will be badly missed for his Antics.

  • TrueIndianFan on December 18, 2007, 0:44 GMT

    Can someone explain to me why Sehwag is included? Karthik could have been an ideal opening partner for Jaffer! (should something happen Dravid could fill up the slot temporarily...Anyways it is always the case that he comes to bat in 2nd or 3rd over :-) Sehwag is more like hit or miss type.. Consistency is something Sehwag's game is totally devoid off! Mr.Kumble said "We have the potential to beat Australia because we have the batting line-up to put runs on the board,"... isn't it the bowling that gets the beating everytime we tour down under.... I seriously doubt if there is any bowler who would trouble the aussie batsman.... There is neither raw pace nor disturbing seam in our players arsenal that would provoke aussies... In my view players to watch out for: Sourav, Yuvraj (really glad that there is someone to step into Sachin's shoes when the little master quits!),Laxman [ Australian Specialist :) ] and Irfan (purely for his batsmen skills) But as an ardent fan, I want India to win

  • Shaju.K on December 16, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    Selection of Sehwag is not a blunder. He has the capability and has shown in the past against Ausies. His batting average in test cricket itself speaks for himself. So I don't think a debate is necessary regarding this. Inclusion of younger talents is always welcomed but must not be on the expense of experienced warhorses with proven track records...!!!!

  • Redarrow on December 15, 2007, 10:54 GMT

    Segwag's selection is strange one at present situation where india have the question to play one of six(dravid,laxman,tendulkar,ganguly,yuvraj or dhoni)as opener with jaffer.at the moment it will be unfair to drop yuvi from playing 11,and it will be good if laxman or dravid can open as rest of 4 have no experience in opening in tests.So,what will segwag do in Australia,"esepcially when our board,when dropped ganguly,was saying that it would be not worth to select ganguly and not to play him in 11."Only possibility to include segwag is that if one of opener or other batsman is injured,in that case also it would have been better if selecters had opted for Badrinath or any other emerging batsman ,keeping in view of future as obiviously segwag is not going to replace tendulkar,laxman or dravid at least in tests.any way Ian CHAPPEL will be happy as he made indian selectors to commit "FIRST MISTAKE" even before the tour started.

  • anerudh on December 15, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    India could well play with the following options.... 1)ask karthik to keep and play yuvi in place of dhoni 2)play yuvi for karthik with himself or dhoni to open 3)ask dravid to open and play yuvi in his place in all the cases the axe is ready on karthik or dhoni....and viru does not fit into the picture anywhere......for him it might turn out to be a well paid excursion... The only way to win a test is to take wickets.and India will surely miss the services of sreesanth here...he is a naturally(atleast on the field)aggresive and wicket takin bowler....the best way to is to have 3 medium pacer and kumble as the lone spinner.....zaheer and rp naturally fit in the two pacer slot...and ma be pathan should be played bcos of his battin abilities......vvs, sachin,ganguly and jaffer will be our key batsmen and let us wish dravid and dhoni/karhikstrike form as soon as possible

  • SriKan on December 15, 2007, 6:04 GMT

    Sehwag has in the past shown the ability to fluster the Aussie bowlers rhythm. He can be considered as he is a matchwinner. However, leaving out Murali Kartik is a mistake. He can be a good asset than Harbhajan atleast in Adelaide. I hope Zaheer and one of the fast bowlers hit the stride in the bouncier pitches.

  • PrasadSalgaonkar on December 14, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    I am a Mumbaikar and feel so sorry for people like "TRIC" who remak on basis of region/location. Moderators should filter out such remakrs and look for positive and healthy cricket comments and suggestions. Cricinfo has very good reputation and allowing postings like these will make it look like any other cheap web-sites. Sorry Mr./Ms. TRIC, people like you go no where in life.

  • PrasadSalgaonkar on December 14, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    I feel, we definitely have a pool of talent, and what needs to be done is try and play Pankaj Singh, Viru, Yuvi, Dravid and Pathan in the upcoming match against Victoria. Pathan whould do the opening just to gauge his potential and not to try and squeeze him in that slot. I feel that Yuvi should be in the middle order of the playing 11 and make either Viru or Dravid open the innings, depending on who clicks. If Pathan clicks as an opener then he could be tried in the 1st test with Dravid in the middle and Pankaj (if impressive on those pitches) coming as a fifth bowler. It will make sense to play 5 bowlers with "Dada" and Yuvi providing additional bowling option. I dont see a sense of including another batsmen if top 6 fail to perform; also in that case we atleast have a 5th bowler to bowl the opposition out. All this is easy to say but will be very hard to put in action. But overall the Aussies will have a tough team to deal with. Shreesanth will be badly missed for his Antics.

  • DevSaha on December 14, 2007, 12:21 GMT

    Sehwag is the past and he should now become a commentator is DD or something. He has nothing to offer to Indian Team. Rather than take a fossil like him, India should take a young opener to Aus.

  • Diwakar on December 14, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    Sehwag should not be a part of the team. As Anand Vasu says, taking him to Australia and not playing him in the XI is utterly useless. He has not done anything in recent memory to warrant a recall to the side.

    Yuvraj should get a fair run. As a bowler he is as good (or mediocre) as Sehwag, his fielding is way better than Sehwag's and most others' in the team and his current form is awesome. Where is the sense in Yuvraj making way for Sehwag?

    I am not wholly convinced, however, that Sehwag should go to Australia. But if he must, and if Karthik is in the XI just because he is willing to open, he is the one who should give up his place to Sehwag. That sounds equally ridiculous. In fact, Karthik should be in the team as the keeper who can bat. Given a reasonably long stint behind the stumps, he can prove as useful as SMH. His keeping is not in the same league but he is young and has the potential to improve. Dhoni, then, should be the one to stick to ODI's and let Sehwag play Tests.

  • BalkrishnaSapre on December 14, 2007, 10:11 GMT

    It is good to have Viru in squad. But definately he is not in first choice 11. Dravid opening and Yuvraj at no 6 is most practlical solution to accomodate Yuvraj as Karthick is awefully out of form.

    In case of injury to any of main batsmen, it will not be big shock if sehwag is there for cover.

  • aruntheselector on December 14, 2007, 10:05 GMT

    This looks to be the best players available.Since Gambhir is injured its better to bank on Sehwag as he is tried and tested earlier.Moreover India should go in with 6 best batsman available and then decide the batting order.It would be ideal for Ganguly to open with Wasim as he opens in one dayers.Also it will give a left-right combinaton which will be a disadvantage for the opposition.Moreover if Ganguly starts the innings the Aussies will be demoralised right from the start as he is very good in playing mind games which is more important against Aussies.Laxman should go at 3 as he has been very successful against Aussies.Moreover Dravid is not at his best.Even if there is an early collapse Sachin and Rahul can stabilise at 4 & 5 after which Yuvi and Dhoni can take the score further.The ideal batting order for this tour is:Wasim,Ganguly,Laxman,Sachin,Dravid,Yuvi,Dhoni,Kumble,RP,ZAK and Ishant.Bhajji should be played instead of Ishant or RP in Sydney.

  • akashchandran on December 14, 2007, 4:25 GMT

    The selectors know that Gambhir at his best(3 centuries from 2 Ranji games) cannot handle good quality bowling (at the supposed top form he failed to score 10 against the Pak bowling)and Chopra at his best can score a fighting half century against good bowling. Morover Sehwag's test form was not that bad to warrant dropping from the squad altogether in Bangladesh and England except for one poor Test series in SA(he had scored 180,65, 41, 36 and 31 in the WI just prior to that).

    Mat I NO Runs HS1 HS2 HS3 Ave 100 50 0

    Sehwag 52 87 3 4155 309 254 201 49.46 12 12 9 Gambhir 14 23 2 692 139 97 96 32.95 1 3 1 Gambhir's top two scores of 139 and 97 has come against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe whereas Sehwag's average against Australia in Australia is over 54.

  • v.ilangathir on December 14, 2007, 1:02 GMT

    Perhaps Sehwag's heroics in India's near successful tour to Oz last time around,has worked in his favor.His 195 at MCG on day 1 against a quality bowling attack stands out as one of the finest test innings.Yet he has not even shown glimpses of his brilliance in recent past.Well,it might be a risk worth taking considering the strength of Indian batting.But it would be unacceptable to make him sit out in any of the tests. But India,already facing a problem of plenty in the batting department are certain to make some tough decisions while selecting the 11.Yuvraj has shown his class too.He's pressing harder for a permanent place in the 11 with stupendous performances in all forms of the game.It'd be extremely unfair to Yuvraj to play Sehwag ahead of him in the 11.Sehwag needs to fire in the chances that come his way. Else he's most likely to be dropped forever.

  • srujan45 on December 14, 2007, 0:27 GMT

    Analytically, India shouldn't do the same mistake Pakistan had done with bringing Shoaib Akthar on their 2007 India tour. An in-form and playable Akthar would have been dangerous. They have only undermined fitness as an issue just like most of us sub continenters do. Their reason unknowingly was the X-factor.

    Now that it has happened and Viru's in, Anil Kumble must and will put in full confidence in Sehwag by first eliminating the performance-based-selection doubt. Sehwag from his side, if anything must stop playing one shot - Poke at the ball outside off-stump, at least until he stamps his authority. It is the same formula Sachin Tendulkar had applied during his 241 against Australia.

    If you're to win over a team like Australia that is going to post totals no less that 600, we've already got the batsman that can ensure a draw. But, from a batting perspective we need Viru to set us apart

  • SGBatsForever on December 13, 2007, 23:18 GMT

    If India play Sehwag, they will be whitewashed by the Aussies. Kumble as a captain is proving to be as worthless as David was. Bring back Ganguly as captain- after all he is by a mile the best batsman in the team now!

  • cricketlove on December 13, 2007, 21:28 GMT

    The upcomimg Australia tour is the most difficult tour for team india to deal with. I am saying this with the main prospect of our weaking bowling attack(injury to zaheer khan is the huge blow). The only way india can win this series is by scoring tons of runs and this can be made possible if we get a good opening partnership and this can only be possible by scoring shots but not by ticking around for one's. By this way India can make the australian fearfull bowling attack to take a back step and this can only be done by the most attacking players like either sehwag or yuvrag. I am glad at the inclusion of sehwag because he is one of the few players in the history of cricket who can take the fearless attack to the most fearfull bowling attack. So giving him a chance is not that a bad idea by only taking his fearless play into account. So CHAK DE SEHWAG.................

  • Godwin on December 13, 2007, 21:14 GMT

    hi, Note my point - Sehwag will not survive Lee, Tait & Johnson. they would simply bounce him and take his wicket. Remember this Sehwag is not the old one you took to Aus on previous tour. He is old and out-of-form. He is certainly luckly to get kumble's backing. Rahul backed him for WC - and now its kumble. why are they doing this ? Backing up players who are Out-of-form. Will kumble not see shewag's recent domestic form before he selects. Why are the selector and BCCI encouraging these kind of habits. they are making fool of younger guy who has good domestic record and made his entry in to probables. Now bringing back shewag would trashed one young guys dream in the probables. When BCCI is making mockery of younger guys - we will see more leagues like ICL in near future challenging BCCI. I am sure they would suceed.

  • Tamal_IITKGP on December 13, 2007, 21:04 GMT

    Useless !!! Why to include a man without form? What miracle will he fetch aginst the top most side of test cricket? Indian selectors are wasting the young generartions who are supposed to get their desereved slot.

  • Kapil-T on December 13, 2007, 20:43 GMT

    Thank God somebody has put some sense into the selectors! I believe no one else in the Indian team can play such selfless batting. I don't even think the Australians are even a bit scared of any of our other players when they get going. With Sehwag going the Aussies are crapping bricks because after he gets past a certain point, he's unstoppable. He's an all or nothing player; he'll either get huge hundreds or probably get out under 20. We have to accept it. But it's important to know that 10 out of 12 times that he's made those huge hundreds(check his record) India have won. I don't think you can say the same with any other player in the team(including Sachin). And against an opponents like the Aussies, at home turf, he's the player that India needs.

  • VineetGupta on December 13, 2007, 20:32 GMT

    Sehwag is an interesting choice. Here are the reasons why-

    Wasim Jaffer (solid technique and defense) Virender Sehwag (capable of playing big shots and big innings) Sachin Tendulkar (period) Sourav Ganguly (guts and glory) Rahul Dravid (it's either him or VVS Laxman) Yuvraj Singh (prove your consistency) MS Dhoni (go for the kill) Irfan Pathan (swinging batsman/ bowler) Anil Kumble (if bowls flat should replace himself) Harbhajan Singh (its either murali or him) Ishaant Sharma (let the pace unleash...forget bowling to a plan...be a natural) ------------------------- Murali Karthik Dinesh Kartik VVS Laxman RP Singh Ranadeb Bose

  • TRIC on December 13, 2007, 19:37 GMT

    Its very sad to read the comments of many. I am really surprised that no one thought we require match winners if Team India has to win. Till date there were and are few match winners for Team India (Current players: Yuvraj, Murali Karthik, Sehwag, Ganguly, laxman, even dravid but not tendulkar (selfish like all mumbaikars gavaskar,vengsarkar & co) (Ex cricketers: GR Vishvanath, Kapil Dev, Prasanna). Remember , last time the series was drawn because of Sehwag & ganguly. Our earlier series win in Australia was when Kaps was playing. Can anyone tell me when did sachin solely guided a series win in test cricket since the year of debut 1989? Please give your comments.Readers may be surprised i have included Dravid & laxman as match winners because they hold one end sensibly and accumulate unlike the selfish 10dulars.As such, lets drop 10dulkar for yuvraj to claim his no 4 position. Stop talking about a youngster like Dinesh Karthik jus bcos he didnt score 5 innings. Recall SAF & UK Tour.

  • roninja on December 13, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    Remember in the Melbourne Test Sehwag threw away his wicket at the end 195 runs, and then went for a six to get to his double. What happened next was a capitulation of the side, and India lost the test. Now past performance being a guide to the future never works. Sewag contributed immensely to that drawn series where in the end India held the upper hand. What Sehwag and Yuvi bring to the side is the ability to score fast and big. My question is how the team will be balanced. 7 batsmen, and 4 bowlers? Will that mean a team as follows: Jaffer, Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni, Pathan, Kumble, Khan, Sharma or RP Singh.

  • docmeena on December 13, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    Judging from our teams performance against Pakistan,tour Downunder will expose our weakness in all aspects of the game.This tour should be used to develop Dinesh Karthik, yuvarj singh,for future.Leaving out Murali Karthik who always does well against Australia tells more about our selectors than the players.Viru has no place .He is just a hitter.He has no mental strength.He has no technical skills.Mohmad Kaif would have been better choice,We have more openers than needed,Our bowling has nothing to write home about.Can you win wars with dads army? Good luck.

  • Animalus_Maximus on December 13, 2007, 17:17 GMT

    I think they should open with Sehwag and Jaffer. Follow it up with Dravid, Sachin, Dada OR Yuvraj, Laxman, and Dhoni. Karthik - who otherwise has excellent temperament - will have to sit it out I'm afraid.

  • RAMKI2404 on December 13, 2007, 16:43 GMT

    Clearly Its a wrong move. India is a country where you have lot of talent especially in cricket b/c of the population and passion for cricket. I would have gone with someone who is really doing good in domestic cricket (like of Manoj Tiwari, Bhadrinath etc..) rather then the previous reputation. If selectors are going on the basis of previous Reputation then they should have picked Sehwag in the PAK series b/c we all now what he did with PAK In test cricket (He scored 3 double centuries). There is no doubt about Sehwags talent b/c he is the one who scored a triple century for India but in order to play cricket for INDIA you need to perfrom consistantly and his form in recent domestic cricket is pathetic. I really wonder how dare the selection committee make such decisions when 100+ crore people are watching them. I am against this move even if sehwagh shines in Australian series. He needs to come on the basis of talent into the team rather then a back door approach.

  • Dine on December 13, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    Shewag!!! hmm he has not really proved himself as yet for me. Fair enough selectors and the team think tank have opted for him based on the past performances (in / against Australia). With all this in mind to leave out Yuvaraj Singh at this juncture will be a crime. If still Yuvi is left out then there is no such thing called as form required for Indian cricket. Now it all comes down to how Yuvi can be included...? go back to the man who aided India having 7 batsmen in the ODI arena during the 2003 world cup, and also the season before that. Its none other than Dravid ...!!! he's been such a team man in Indian cricket, if asked for he should be able to open the innings.I am sure if Dravid was still the test captain he would have gone for this decision. Finally, Pathan must play as a all-rounder and Ishant Sharma must be included with Zaheer leading the attack. Then it would come down to just one spinner in Kumble but Sachin should be able fill in,with yuvi. Ishant will be the surprise

  • Nampally on December 13, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    Sehwag is an exciting batsmen who has an excellent record in Australia. His selection is definitely a gamble considering he was not given a chance to play in any of the test matches against Pakistan. But judging by his past record he has the potential of giving India a boost which no other opener can against a very potent ans hostile pace attack of the Aussies. This is an excellent move provided he opens and gets back his confidence. However the dropping of left handed spinner Karthik will weaken the bowling considerably. Otherwise the team selection is well handled by the selectors and they should be congratulated on taking chances with Pankaj Singh as well to keep the rest of the pace bowlers on their toes.

  • Karthik_S on December 13, 2007, 15:28 GMT

    Virendra Sehwag can be used as a backup - although I would be surprised if he actually makes the starting eleven in the first test match. With Jaffer, Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Lakshman and Dhoni sure to play (if all are fit) followed by Kumble, Zaheer, and two other bowlers. Dropping Yuvraj would be a folly given his purple patch as would asking him to open. Guess it would be worth the gamble to look at Pathan as an Opener or ask Dravid to step up. Asking Pathan might make more sense - even if he fails - we have Dravid at three, but also with an option of playing the fifth bowler. But of course its for Kumble to decide .. and it would be interesting to see what he does - if he does go with Sehwag and Yuvraj - then the bowling will be massacred.

  • Shaju.K on December 13, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    I think the selectors did unfair to Parthiv Patel. He could have been the best available option for the opener slot. Forget about his wicket keeping skill. Acknowledging his current form as a batsman in the domestic games and comparatively the not much impressive performance of Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv should have got an edge. It would have been another great comeback for this young man who really want to prove some points like what Saurav did just now. Selectors must show more courage to rotate the non performing players with such much awaiting talents. Ofcourse the road shouldn't be closed for anyone.

  • Bond.Chemical.Bond on December 13, 2007, 14:51 GMT

    Probably the selectors in India are getting a good intuition nowadays. Making Kumble the captain and now picking up Sehwag for Australia all these are the things that no one expected but they are just thinking that by surprising everyone out there they may do some good. The first decision made by the Board has paid off and I think the second one will also not disappoint them. The only problem is that they have been a bit late. But we can't complain. After all intuition is a thing that only time can bring to you!!!!!

  • Notout_Naveen on December 13, 2007, 14:42 GMT

    Sehwag is like a lottery..If he plays well than that will be a match winning innings if not it will be a big boost to Aussies.

    He slahes hard any thing outside the off stump which would give a chance to the bowlers but if he gets going he will counter attack the bowlers and would make them demorolize. Also by his shot making ability not only he can get quick runs but take the shine out of the ball quickly.

    So its worth a risk and its all upto him not to gift his wicket instead give an edge by playing his natural game which would reduce the burden on middle order.

    Best of luck to Viru...All the best to India.

    Cheers...

  • hotspice on December 13, 2007, 14:27 GMT

    IanC always meant more harm than good to the Indian camp by suggesting to pick an hopeless sehwag . Having said that I still have double minds whether it is a worthy enough to include sehwag. Once we realise how hilarious our other options for openers are suddenly an out-of-form shewag's inclusion doesnt sound all that absurd. If kumble had a hand in that decision he surely has some very interesting strategy in his mind. I dont agree he is a defensive captain & a 1-0 result was something every Indian wanted to first secure. He heard & acted upon the billion wishes of winning the series than trying to be some greedy hero by yet again imitating another arrogant aussie . Lets just simply wish our team & a new captain tremendous success on a what will be a very challenging tour.

  • arjunmn on December 13, 2007, 14:25 GMT

    India find themselves in the same position England did in 2006. They have won some good series with some promising new players - read Yuvraj and Karthik instead of Panesar and Mahmood. However, now the time comes to go to Australia. There are moves afoot to bring old campaigners like Sehwag back at the expense of the players in form. It is said Generals are always ready to fight the last war - but Generals ready to fight the last war are not ready to win the next Test series.

  • RahulMN on December 13, 2007, 14:04 GMT

    If India play a rusty Sehwag instead of an in form Yuvraj - or even Karthik - they will be guilty of the same error Duncan Fletcher made when he picked Steve Harmison and Ashley Giles for the opening Ashes test at Brisbane. India must pick their best team - and that means Yuvraj not Sehwag. To try and refight the battles of 2003 in 2007 would be the height of folly.

  • battlezone on December 13, 2007, 13:10 GMT

    Like told in the article if sehwag can hit a quick century, once or probably twice in the tour against australia (it wud go for a waste if he hits it against the pratice matches). That would be enough for india to have a gud run in the series. With Jaffer, Ganguly,Sachin, Laxman in form this would be a tough tour. Dravid will join the party sooner. But if this strong batting is going to fail once then australia is going to capitalize the situation. The bowling is surely looking a bright, on paper they look like breaking the australian line up but with zaheer & rp coming from injury, pathan performing more with bat than ball and the rookies, are not going to help india win an australian series. We also need to send Lady Luck with the Indian team for Australia. anyways all the best for their tour.

  • Draw on December 13, 2007, 12:57 GMT

    I feel Chopra is bettter suited as an opener but frankly it doesn't matter as I see no role for another opener in the playing 11. We need to play with 6 Batsmen, 3 pacers, WK and a spinner.The 6 guys should be Rahul, VVS, Sachin, Wasim, Yuvraj and Ganguly. The order refelects their capabilites and Captian can decide on the order in which they bat. the pacers should be Zaheer, RP and Irfan. Kumble-captain or not is automatic choice for the spinner slot. This suggests, Irfan has to open as we cann' afford to loose Rahul by sending him as an opener. The selection is good and if we are forced to play Shewag due to injuries to any of these playing 11, he is a good fit. The selectors need to be congratulated for having the guts to drop Agarkar. I am not sure whether Dhoni is an automatic choice for abroad test matches, particularly from his batting skills. probably Parthiv should open and keep wickets which allows all the 6 best batsmen in the country to play in the 11.

  • aditya87 on December 13, 2007, 12:53 GMT

    If Sehwag has been included as a last minute option then it'll be interesting to see what frame of mind he is in. If he still feels like he is part of the team (whether or not he is in the final XI), then he will do very well. Don't forget, he was in South Africa in the 2020 World Cup so he knows what it is like to be part of a winning team. However, if he stops backing himself and thinks about whether or not he should be in the team, then I don't see much hope for him. Having said that, I totally support Sehwag's selection. Yes, Aakash Chopra and especially Parthiv Patel were making a stronger case for selection, but the selectors have gone for the obvious potential that Sehwag brings to the crease, and I applaud them for this brave decision. Now it is up to him and the team to make sure he is in a relaxed but positive and aggressive frame of mind...like when he made 195 at Melbourne or 309 at Multan.

  • tusharkardile on December 13, 2007, 12:44 GMT

    During last tour down under, Chopra was a perfect foil to aggression of Veeru. But then just imagine Chopra playing alongside Jaffer... I dont think the prospects are very promising. Its worth taking a gamble on Sehvag. If Chopra clicks, then we are 50/0 by lunch and 51/1 1st over after lunch. But if Sehvag clicks then we might be 250/1 or 250/2 by tea on day 1. And thats a BIG difference. I wonder how Parthiv Patel would have fared?

  • ssukumar_2007 on December 13, 2007, 12:19 GMT

    Hi to everyone.I think the Ganguly factor may largely helped Sehwag in the selection expecting him to gave a great comeback like Ganguly. I think we can very well start the MIND GAME against Australians using Sehwag.He should always attack and should not allow to settle down any new ball bowlers there.If Dinesh Karthik in his current form deserves a place in the team, then why not Sehwag? BUT ONE THING. SEHWAG SHOULD NOT BE IN THE ELEVEN AT THE COST OF YUVRAJ SINGH.I also feel Ajith Agarkar should have been selected.He has the ability to pick up wickets at critical stage even if he give some runs.Its a calculated risk taken by the team selectors.Lets see how the gamble works.

  • jayadeep_nair on December 13, 2007, 12:14 GMT

    sehwag got a nod, and at the right time.Some times a player is selected by his reputation than by his performance.The boxing day party at Melbourne during the 2003 tour down under,would certainly haunt Australians for the sheer power-play this man demonstrated on the first day to take the match away from Aussies single handedly.Though India lost the match,this "Sehwag Effect" could be used to add the surprise element to a certain extend,once India 'pads up' for their first outing in the Boxing day at Melbourne this time too.

  • Tanwir on December 13, 2007, 12:02 GMT

    For God's sake, leave Sehwag alone. All of you against his inclusion are a bunch of ignorant people with little or no knowledge of the game. Let me set the record straight.

    1. Sehwag still averages 49.46 in tests. 2. He scored 180 only 5 tests ago. 3. He had just one bad series in South Africa, but so did Dravid and Sachin. Sehwag was dropped purely on his ODI form. 4. 10 out of his 12 hundreds have been 130 or more. He averages 177 when he gets a hundred. Yes 177! I bet that was a surprise to all of you.

    Sehwag was never an opener. He debuted in SA at no. 6 and scored a 100. Selectors asked him to open and it was said at that time that if he fails as an opener, it wouldnt affect his chances. So please leave him alone. He is a proven match winner and teams fear him like nobody else in the Indian team (apart from maybe VVS).

    Now I'm not saying that Yuvraj should be left out for Viru, you cant leave out a guy who's just scored 169. But thats the selectors' problem.

  • Prats6 on December 13, 2007, 11:35 GMT

    i think too much is being made out "accomodating" Yuvraj in the XI. Cricket is won by "best 11" not the "11 best" players. So if Yuvraj cannot make the cut so be it. Asking someone like a Dravid or Karthick or Irfan to open is really shooting yourself in the foot.

  • muekshyadav_vds on December 13, 2007, 10:20 GMT

    sehwag selection is a risk taking but all now if he click than he distroy any type of bowling and his past performance not so bad in test cricket.he scored hundred against all best test palying nation only failed in south africa.

  • KabirLovesCricket on December 13, 2007, 10:18 GMT

    ..Battle of supremacy.. I was really worried that how come Sehwag was not in the 24 probables... But the selectors have put their lifes on the line now..including someone who was not in the 24 is questionable. But it is said that ``if you don't risk anything then you risk everything``. So lets see will it be a happy christmas for viru or not.......... Rest all of the team is fine with another exception of Pankaj Singh ahead of Munaf and VRV Singh.. Best of luck.. The top ones will fight with the ones just under them... Team 1 vs Team 2.. Watch it out..

  • jai99 on December 13, 2007, 10:04 GMT

    While Praveen Kumar bowled superly against Pak in ODI with good length and line, he was not selected for test why?? they have selected a Wayward sharma who bowl to 10 stamp aften??? Selecting Praveen will be a good Idea for future

  • jai99 on December 13, 2007, 10:01 GMT

    If sehwag is very useful, he should have been given a option in test with pak in india where there is no bounce or movement. But selecting to australia make when he was not even in the selected 24 probables means some external force made him in ???? or Selectors are not capable of selecting proper teams with forcast. Anyway all the best to Yuvi and Karthik

  • AgileEntrepreneur on December 13, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    I'm delighted that Sehwag is back in the team - he should never have been dropped in tests to begin with. His form never dipped in tests- so I'm rather puzzled that the silence - particularly by the readers (here as well as in the Ian Chappell column).

    Quote: "If we look at his recent Test record, he just has three Test-match failures against South Africa, when everyone failed. Before that, he had an outstanding series in the Test matches against West Indies..." (http://tinyurl.com/28bb85)

    Just compare his scores with anyone else in the Indian team over a period of two series. I'll let you do the homework, but here's an comparison of Sehwag and Ganguly for instance. Now pick any *two consecutive* series and tell me how you can justify keep Ganguly and drop Sehwag at the same time. http://tinyurl.com/38jhux

    The selectors have corrected an egregious wrong - and I'll take it (it's too much to expect them to admit they had made a mistake when they had dropped him in

  • KANNANG on December 13, 2007, 9:49 GMT

    Opening bat in cricket match is a vital position which can even determine the result of a test match for one side. Batsman who have patience/technique to handle the fiery first hour of a test match can only open the innings. Sehwag, by his reckless slashes outside the offstump & uppish drives without valid reasons, let us down in many matches including main matches in 2007 World Cup. No one can deny Sehwag's acheivements either. However, we need to be futuristic and result oriented like Australians who select team members based on their current form and not by their earlier records. With NO big achievements in domestic cricket and NO much test match practice after he was left out of the national team, Sehwag does not pose a big threat to Australia. If he gets out in the first 5 overs on Boxing Day, it may even trigger a big collapse and the confidence level goes down drastically for India. Cricket is a mind game and we can't assume one will regain the form against Australian speedsters

  • Dilly81 on December 13, 2007, 9:39 GMT

    I really do hope that Yuvraj Singh plays and Dravid open the innings...Sehwag should wait.Also opening with Irfan Pathan Doesn't make any sense..India should be positive.Open with Dravid followed by Laxman(@ his favourite no:3)then Tendulkar,Ganguly,Yuvraj,Dhoni and Pathan..

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on December 13, 2007, 9:27 GMT

    While I am glad Sehwag is back though as the article says one cannot claim he forced his way back on the weight of domestic performances, it also raises the question of the sanctity of picking "probables".

    If Kumble had asked for Sehwag was he not consulted when the list of probables was drawn up? If he was not then why is his word being considered now?

    And if Kumble as Captain has a say in the squad to be picked then shouldn't the selectors have told him that those have to be picked only from the 24? If those 24 were not the only probables then why have that list?

    I feel Chopra as the only opener besides Gambhir (assuming Jaffer was assured a place) feels every right to be hard done.

    First it was Ganguly who messed things up by trying to fit Yuvraj as an opener and thereby sacrificing Chopra and now Kumble has completely overlooked him.

    I guess some people have all the luck!!

  • Tas_Hussain on December 13, 2007, 9:07 GMT

    As a cricket lover, there is nothing more exciting than watching any of the top batsmen in the world in full flow.. and this includes Indian batsmen.

    I would like to question the logic of taking Viru as India have several top class batsmen and adding another, at the expense of either Yuvraj or Dinesh Kartik is somewhat foolish.

    Sure Viru in full flow is a match winner, but then so is Sachin, VVS Saurav and to be honest the Aussies are scared of Yuvi. Look at how he handed it out to them in the 20/20.

    If i was Ponting, id want Viru picked ahead for the simple reason as some other avid reader pointed out, Viru's shot selection is somewhat questionable...

  • mumbai2007 on December 13, 2007, 9:04 GMT

    Virender Sehwag's only crime is not to be an urban sophisticate. His innings for India are legendary. He had one poor series, and has not been picked since. His story reminds me of Vinod Kambli, another batting genius who was dumped at the first opportunity. If I had made the first 300 in Indian Test cricket, 247 off 254 balls against Pakistan, 195 in a day against Australia, 96 before lunch on the opening day of a Test match and was then treated in this way, my confidence and morale would be broken too. What more could he have done? Well done Kumble, if he is the one responsible for bringing him back in from the cold. Chappell tried to destroy the careers of the high-profile 'desi' players in the team - Viru, Gangers and Harbhajan - who unlike Sachin and Dravid would not kowtow to the arrogant foreigner. He has almost succeeded in destroying Viru. I hope Viru does what Saurav has done and comes roaring back.

  • Kausik on December 13, 2007, 9:02 GMT

    Akaash Chopra's exclusion may hurt us dearly. Not only adept at playing short pitched stuff, he is in good form too. Actually he never was out of form...Saurav(the then skipper) to induct Yuvraj in Pakistan made a sacrificial lamb out of Akaash...and in any case Akkash doesnot have the firepower to cash in on flat wickets...but he would be an asset in the fast bouncy tracks Down Under.

    Additionally, he is a superb close-in & slip fielder. We could have had one safe catcher atleast, instead with butter fingers in our team, I shudder to think what would happen when the likes of Ponting, Hussey, Symonds & Co. is given a 2nd chance.

    Sehwag is great when he is carrying on..but then he has to carry on..for the last couple of yrs the team has only carried him. I fail to understand the logic of 4 yrs back he scored 195 in a day..the diff. b/w subcontinent & Aussie psyche is that 4 yrs back Warne, Macgrath, Waugh, Langer played with distinction & now they all have been suitably replaced

  • pHoDu on December 13, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    Hi Everybody Indian Selectors are known for their flip-flops and they've pulled yet another one out from .. where.. perhaps even they will struggle to find out. Although I feel this is a very good decision to include someone like Sehwag but could have been brought about in much more graceful manner. Tearing an attack that lacks the quality of Macgrath can be easily accomplished by someone like him. Lot of over and between the slip cordon shots can easily destabilise the pace.I'm looking forward to that.

  • braju on December 13, 2007, 8:38 GMT

    I have read all the comments above.I agree with most of the comments, the ones which are in favour of Sehwag and also which are against.Let me put the things in right percpective.Selectors have shown lot of courage and wisdom including Sehwag for the Oz tour and they should be congratulated rather then crticizing.Its a real risk, he might fail but if he succeeds then on his day he can tear apart any Oz attack and can really take the game away. I wish and pray for Sehwags success in the coming tour. This is his last chance to perform or perish. He has to be little bit careful in shot selection, specially outside the off stump and curb his natural instict a bit.

  • JayPadia on December 13, 2007, 8:37 GMT

    Commenting on the decision on Sehwag, it is amusing. What indications does that give? Does it indicate the faith in Sehwag? Does it indicate Sehwag's ability as an opener? To me it seems to be something very different. It seems there is something like a senior's camp in the team. This camp pushes for retention of seniors no matter what they perform. There were a few comments about seniors dominating and to me they seem to be true. Otherwise, how would a team play without a coach for almost a year. It might be out of context to talk about the coach issue, but the winning rate is good can't be an argument in favour of current coach policy. Many things tend to get overlooked in the absence of a coach. Also any current player would tend to concentrate on his own performance more than others or juniors. A coach always looks a everyone's minor details. Hopefully, there is more concentration on the teams interest and a professional board can induce that.

  • _-_- on December 13, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    I believe having Sehwag in the team is a gamble that may pay off because on his day Sehwag can be devastating.I am not so sure about Yuvraj being in the playing XI, He is an in form batsman and has been doing pretty well in the T20 and ODI's but I have always believed Yuvraj to be pretty inconsistent and not a very good player of very fast bowling.iI may be wrong but thats what i feel.

  • Subway on December 13, 2007, 8:13 GMT

    I think it was a very decision. Sehwag is the cracking batsmen, who can be very dangerous for the pace bowlers. He is a star batsmen and gives the team a very good start specially in test matches. After his firing start, it easy for the middle order to come and bat positively. I have seen to many times Drvid, Tendulker, Ganguly and Laxman perform soo well because of positive starts by Sehwag.

  • vermacelli on December 13, 2007, 7:01 GMT

    While I respect Ian Chappell's opinions (typically), it seems the selection of Sehwag is too much of a punt. I would have been happier seeing Aakash Chopra in the team.

    Poor, unlucky Aakash. He goes to Australia, does quite well in protecting a potentially brittle middle order against the new ball, has a few poor innings against Pakistan, and is then dropped. Mostly to provide an opportunity for Yuvraj, who was threatening Machiavelli Ganguly for a place in the middle order. Anyway, a very solid domestic performance has not been good enough for Chopra. Too bad.

    Another aspect of the selection that bothers me is the amount of rope given to Harbhajan who seems to have little mystery left as a spinner. Time to move on methinks, and give someone else (and the Indian team) a chance.

    Also, I would not have been disappointed with Vengsarker quitting. I just get the sense that his lens' seem more to be tinted Maharashtrian (or narrower still) than Indian.

  • Jay_krishnan on December 13, 2007, 6:53 GMT

    @ mahipal_c

    Blaming a captain who has led the team for just 3 test matches. Why aren't you even blaming the people who laid those stupid pitches. I am very sure if he had declared early and india would have gone on to lose the test match, you would be one of them who would have gone on to say that he did the wrong thing and blah blah blah.

    Coming to sehwag, it was totally unexpected, only time will tell whether the decision , was correct or wrong. Its upto him to stand up and get counted.

  • darpan on December 13, 2007, 6:30 GMT

    I dont know why Sehwag has been included??? A man with almost 5 percent of techniques.......will definately not work....and i feel bowling is the weakest link.....As all the team is knowing Aussies are playing left hand seamers very easily why cant our selectors and captain can see that???Just check the stats of Indian left arm seamers Zaheer,RP,Irfan....against aussies..And I can say that Ishant is the most useless bowler this days.....Why cant they go for Agarkar or Sreesanth who have better stats than any above players and when u r playing against aussies u dont need to experiment...bcoz of team declared now only test can be drawn or won by aussies no chances for india to win......bcoz of poor bowling selection..bhajji is useless unless wicket has turn and bounce....Only Kumble can help india all other are useless Selectors are fools.....and Kumble is a part of them.....Sorry to say this..

  • vraghu on December 13, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    Dear Sehwag, Very lucky to get recall despite poor run and your succumbing more and more to two familiar failings-leaving the gate to the incoming ball and the slash. You are my favorite forever even if you get buried in Australia never to return to test cricket. Have followed exploits of greatest cricketers of the last century and watched those playing for the last 50 years. But in full flow, your batting alone and what else can give such cricketing pleasure. Who can forget the glorious drive of the last ball of the day off Mcgrath at Chennai. Your last 8 hundreds have all been more than 150 [average around 200!] and in all cricketing history, not even the Don might have done it. Not one commentator or critic has talked of this. Don't worry. I will be rooting for you even if no one else does. Slash hard! Come with glory. You have it in you. Awaiting with bated breath.

  • cricsans on December 13, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    AV: There is never ever an end of the road for anyone in Indian cricket. What worries me is that they dropped Murali Kartik; he would have finished off Pakistan in Bangalore - as he did to the Aussies a couple of years ago.

    Though I would like to see them succeed; Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh are the X-factor nothings of Indian cricket.

    Who is the next X-factor victim of Indian cricket? Looks like Yuvraj Singh.

  • Tall_boy on December 13, 2007, 6:15 GMT

    I personally believe , Sehbag , Sachin , Ganguly all three are openers suited exclusively for one-day jobs. Fielders are up for the first 20 overs, these three make merry more often than not . For Test Cricket , Wasim and Akash Chopra would have been the better choices. Anyway , Veeru has got enough time to warm-up ( benches I mean ) before the Tri-series starts .

  • Ashutosh on December 13, 2007, 6:13 GMT

    Unbelievable, yet true ! How I wish my name was Viru Sehwag & I'll also have a free ticket to Australia won in yesterday's draw of lots held by the BCCI selectors, a motley bunch of foggy headed ex-cricketers !!!

  • Nilangsu on December 13, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    We tend to forget that cricket is a game played more in the mind than on the field. Sehwag has been e tremendous test batsman, with much higher success in this format than in the ODIs. He is a matchwinner, and it was a surprisingly and refreshingly bold decision by the selectors, but one that will surely be good for Team India.

  • srinivas.kompalli on December 13, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    well,finally the selectors prove that they can think and can give surprises, by inclusion of viru.i strongly believe that it could be master stroke.but if he is in the sighs of Australian tour, he must have given chance for home series against Pakistan,so that he can built confidence before the all important series.i think it is hell of job for the tour management and captain in selecting final 11.keeping out yuvaraj and playing viru could be huge gamble.anyway comeback of viru could be decessive for preserving the talent of his caliber don't forget 2 double hundreds and 1 triple and that disturctive innings of 195 at Melbourne when India last toured.it is clear it is important that success of viru lies very much on the dreams of beating world champions at their backyard.

  • bculas on December 13, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    I was not shocked at the selection of virendar Sehwag for the tour of Australia. Past history has shown that Virendar has some strange ways of creeping into the team.His recent record at the Ranji trophy matches alone will prove his worth= Zilch!! Morever he is a disruptive element on the bench. I cannot fot the life of me understand his inclusion in the team other than divine political intervention.His chances of suceeding in Australia is as slim as my sister growing hair on her chest. Now that he is a passenger the next best thing for the selectors to do would be to send him on a sightseeing trip during the days of play and put him on the stands to sign autographs for Ian Chappel's buddies

  • krishmaddy on December 13, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    Picking sehwag is a right gamble as the bowling department is weak. He had scored heavily last time india toured and aussy's fear him most. He should take the place of Dinesh Karthick. Actually speaking making Kumble captain for the tour is the biggest gamble our selectors took considering he had not played two of the matches last time. For they should have picked up Murali karthik in place of Harbajan who could bat a bit and can big variety in attack. When will Indian selectors learn to pick up different squad for different countries?

  • redneck on December 13, 2007, 5:43 GMT

    like many have said before playing conservertive against aus is just gonna get u beaten! last time india came here (aus) they took chances and got results for it, selecting sehwag is a gamble but one worth it! these other batsmen in form in india's national comp are making runs on what i would gather are low bouncing, turning wickets? every pitch in aus has bounce even sydney & adelaide which are more kind on spin therefor isnt it better to go with someone who has achieved making runs in australia??? also will kumble have any trouble deciding when to bowl himself not as easy for him to decide this outside asian countries!!!

  • Mayurhrk on December 13, 2007, 5:41 GMT

    I dont think sehwag derserves the place in the team... it doesnot matter what he has done in past... its about present... the question if we take him on the tour... are we really gonna play him... in a test match under this kinda form?? if no... then whats the point in just taking him on the tour to warm the benches?? i dont see sehwag making it into playing 11 unless there are injuries to 2 of the batsmen...

  • ppmac on December 13, 2007, 5:41 GMT

    Sehwag has been India's best test batsman overseas over the last 5 years. His only real failure was in South Africa.He has never been a good one day batsman, so there was no point in assessing his form there. In first class cricket, he was known as a six hitter & not a compiler of scores. Remember that he went on his first tour of SA as a one day player. When he got a lucky chance in Test cricket, he took it with both hands and never looked back.Not taking him to AUs would have been foolish. I would rate him just behind the big 3 for Australia (Sachin, Dravid & VVS) He deserves a place more than Saurav, Yuvi, Jaffer or Karthik for sure.This is one guy who thrives at Test Cricket like few others do!

  • cricniscient on December 13, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    For all his cricketing experience, Ian Chappell has a lot of foolish opinions. Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson would be absolutely licking their lips to bowl to a brash, out-of-form stroke maker like Sehwag, and I have to believe that the Australians would be laughing themselves silly at such selection policies. When Michael Clarke was dropped, he responded by scoring tons in domestic cricket. Where oh where has Andrew Strauss' fabulous debut season landed him at the moment? Out of form, out of the side.

  • manisharora82 on December 13, 2007, 5:21 GMT

    Bring back Gavaskar,Vishwanath and Kapil & Co. too..... Even they have done well against Aussies in the past.... If Sehwag deserves the chance to play just because he had done well in the past against the same opposition then all the players of yester years also deserve a chance.... All you have to do is to say Ian Chappel to put forth your name in a column. Cheers!!!!

  • mrgupta on December 13, 2007, 5:21 GMT

    Select Sehwag for Australia? Give me a break. Looks like obliging Ian or just going on the past record. Why not S. Badrinath, Akash Chopra or given the wonderful form Parthiv Patel? When Dinesh Karthik can play just as a batsman then why not Parthiv Patel? Whats the point then having domestic matches if youngsters are not going to get chances? With this why are selectors blocking the selection of In-form youngsters? This is simply unbelievable.

  • MellowWillow on December 13, 2007, 5:19 GMT

    A character like Sehwag can really take the attack to the opposition, although he might pack his bags with lot of reputation and the pressure to perform in Australia, More instances than not he wraps his wicket in a goodie and gives it to the bowlers, I hardly see him getting out to great deliveries, A little wide out the off stump he shies aways slashes at it, A little bouce to it and he is gone, or booming front foot drive on a ball that nipping back sharply, He is gone. Its time for him to put his thought to his shots; See of the shine from the leather and he bcomes very effective whacking it all around. To conclude, its really a diamond in the crown to have a in form Sehwag in the team, If he fails, the gate open for someone else.

  • arbee on December 13, 2007, 4:58 GMT

    The team selection is a good one under the circumstances, the oly poor selection is for the opening slot. Barring Wasim Jaffer we dont have a specialist opener. Neither kartik nor Sehwag are specialists they are make shift openers and both are currently in poor form. One must think like the Autralians to beat them.would the Australian selectors have selected Sehwag? Sehwag has been struggling in ranji matches where the standard of fast bowling is nothing vis-a-vis the Australins line up. Lee, tait and Jhonson all of them bowling around 145 kmph Sehwag is going to be a sitting duck. Australins have a plan for each batsman and they have worked out sehwag, they will never give him width and tie him down for a few overs and then feed him with one just aronund off stump for him to fiddle and get an edge to carry to the four slips and 2 gullies specially placed for him. There are no good openers in sight as a make shift Badrinath is solid and a better choice, he should start opening for TN.

  • DeepakYadav on December 13, 2007, 4:58 GMT

    Sehwag is a top player. His performances in the international cricket against the best teams like Australia have been remarkable. He is a fearless player and have shown full committment to play for the team. Raising questions on his selection is a question in itself. One of the most loved player after Sachin in the Indian cricket have not been given enough opportunities in recent times. Get him back to the opening slot, make him play and I am certain that results will be different in Australia. He understands the pressure now and will make the best use of the opportunity for his team.

  • SPJADHAV on December 13, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    ????What if yuvraj don't get place in the playing 11?? that is going to be ridiculous. I hope yuvraj will get is due. I wish him good luck

  • On-Drive on December 13, 2007, 4:32 GMT

    Let us not forget that SG was a total failure in the domestic circuit before he made his comeback. Let us hope that VS too would come back and make some big hundreds.

  • Nokia-Bunny on December 13, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    Sehwag's inclusion could go either way..If we set that issue apart for a while, what matters to many cricket fans is enthralling cricket..Instead of analyzing who needs to be in team , Lets wish that Sehwag and team India will blast aussies..it's pathetic situation that our so called great selectors don't know the strength of our players untill Chappel or some one else exclaim...my personal feeling is Sehwag will shine...All the very best Sehwag and Team India..

  • Cricketcr3zy on December 13, 2007, 4:21 GMT

    Well, I read in one of the cricinfo column that if India needs to beat Australia, they will have to play aggresively. I beleive that by playing Sehwag, India will give themselves a real chance to win against one of the best team right now around the world. On his day, Sehwag can damage any opposition doesnt matter how good they are. He is the only Indian to score triple hundred. Every time he has made a hundred, he went on to make big one. So i think by playing him, India will give themselves a real chance to beat Australia. Lee and Clarke are real good bowlers, but i m still not sure about Tait n johnson.I dont think this is bad decision. I feel bad for Akash and others who played gud in domestic cricket. But I think sehwag in the gamble worth taking of.

  • Er-.S.R.shankar on December 13, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    sehwag's selection is no surprise for anyone who understands our selectors. one can only imagine these people selecting the squad with the leading dailies on their table. recall the ganguly episode and the number of 180's they did. true the men in charge might have changed but the policies are the same as if it were a curse. all the more interesting is the 'reason' given- a shoulder injury to gautham gambhir who was merrily fielding at short leg the entire 5 day of the bangalore test. its time our selectors stopped calling fake injuries to their justification. needless to say someone like parthiv patel,who probably has the best technique among the three wicket keepers, must be wondering what it really takes to impress the men who matter.the pace bowling department also lacks experience to say the least. one only hopes india do well for its difficult to believe they will.

  • rappedonthepads on December 13, 2007, 3:37 GMT

    I'm glad Viru is in the side. Remains to be seen if he gets a bat at all. Sehwag has to be in the long term plans for the country. He's just short of one big test innings and lets hope it comes soon, then he'll once again be the force that he once was.

  • crick8mania on December 13, 2007, 3:37 GMT

    I think Sehwag should be given the last chance considering his record in Oz. He can make everyone turnaround and support him with only one promising innings, which is only few shots away for him. Personally I believe that Karthik should be left out to accomodate Yuvi and make Dravid open with Jaffer. In most matches Dravid is at the cris after 2-3 overs anyway, so it should not affect his performance too much. Also, with right guidance Ishant can do alot of damage to the Oz batsmen, havent seen Pankaj playing yet so cant comment on him, however he looks to be the promising talent for us. All India need is to win the toss and put 400+ and Ozs are under pressure. We should think about the present rather than worrying about the future and ruin the present series. Karthik and other youngster can prove themselves at other times as well. They dont have to play ahead the inform players and leave India losing. I am sure if India plays with Yuvi and Ishant in the team only WIN is what they'lget

  • srisri on December 13, 2007, 3:32 GMT

    yes.. I am happy that Sehwag is included and Agrakar is not. Very positive sign. I guess, this series must decide the fate of Sehwag, may sound odd, and Dravid too. I guess, gone are those days and the state-of-art test cricket does not need walls any more... it needs batsmen, who can score some quick runs, not just mere blocking. I always wonder by respecting the easiest bowler in the opposition too, what +ve does Dravid do to the confidence of rest of his team mates. Yuvi banging on the test cricket doors so loudly, the Australian tour might just put an end to longest and slowest career of Dravid.....!

  • mahipal_c on December 13, 2007, 3:21 GMT

    If Kumble had a hand in this stupid move, it shows what kind of a captain he is. He has already shown how defensive a captain he is by winning his first series 1-0 where a 3-0 result was there for taking. He is a great bowler and nobody can deny that, but I dont think he is the shrewdest of the captains. At 37, he is more willing to settle for draws and an occasional win rather than an agressive out and out strategy.

    Picking Sehwag into the 16 when he was not in the original 24 shows the selectors and captain in very poor light. No one can say for sure whether they read Ian's article or not but the evidence indicates that they are following his suggestion exactly like he said. I thought Ian's suggestion was stupid, as the Australian selection is never done on past laurels but rather the current form. As somebody said, it was a clever little tactic of Ian to get an out of sorts, out of form, low in confidence Sehwag go on the tour, and to think the selectors did exactly that..scary!

  • tifoso on December 13, 2007, 3:17 GMT

    picking Sehwag is a great move. It's really quite simple - Ian Chappell made a really valid point, Sehwag can beat the Aussies at their own game. What's more, he knows how to play fast when required.

  • WhoNWhy on December 13, 2007, 2:03 GMT

    Is it a risk ? Yes, it is ... But then anyone is a risk right now ... Dinesh Karthick is in no form ... Gambhir showed in the last test against a weak bowling line up that he has some work to do in the nets and Yuvraj is in great form but can he be asked to open ? Is he willing to open ? if he fails in the series as opener will he be dropped or will he be still given a chance as a opener ? We know what happened to Laxman when he agreed to open in tests and failed ... Sehwag is a risk but then who isnt ? But a Sehwag hundred would destroy the opposition in far greater proportions than a hundred from any other player, while giving India a good chance of getting the opposition out cuz of his good scoring rate ... Yes, its a risk, but so is anyone else ... I will surely keep an eye on how it goes ... If anything Kumble will have to make the final call by looking at the options during the nets and practice mathches by putting all possible options under scanner ... Its Do or Die for Sehwag

  • Warnesie on December 13, 2007, 1:49 GMT

    As an Australian, I was quite happy to see Sehwag excluded. Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar and Ganguly are class batsman and can punish the Australian bowling but from the sidelines one feels that the Aussies in the past have always had them under control. Sachin or Rahul might get a big hundred, but you can usually rely on nabbing the others for under 50.

    Sehwag can take the game away from you in a day. If he gets a start and flogs the ball to all parts, the pressure is relieved on the other guys and they can stroll their way to big scores. Laxman is a master at it. He can look like he's just plodding along while Sehwag is blasting away; next thing it's Tea and Laxman's 80 or 90 also.

    I feel sorry for any young cricketer that misses out, especially if his form is good, but I would rather play against a relatively inexperienced player than have Sehwag in the side. He is a threat and even if he fails in the first test, there's three more to play. Worth a punt, I think. Cheers

  • desi2c on December 13, 2007, 1:35 GMT

    Reading Mixed Comments above for inclusion of sehwag are interesting, but yes sehwag has been out of form. Everyone has to believe that he has sumwhat experience behind him. and hopefully for he can use his HEAD and think of this as do or die series for his CAREER. as if he doesnt perform that's it for sehwag... he' should be considered lucky as ganguly didnt get that chance. but kumble has faith in him and so does indian selectors, yes there are indian domestic players performing better but one's gotta admit that's jus on INDIAN pitches.... sehwag has some thing in him that australians do fear as with laxman. i'd say mate show us the real sehwag and lets beat these aussies as home (i'm an indian/aussie) but when it comes to CRICKET it's all indian...... GUDLUCK TO THE INDIAN TEAM especially SEHWAG

  • ratnesh26 on December 13, 2007, 0:54 GMT

    It's a bold and a commendable decision by the Indian selectors.I hope Sehwag vindicates the faith that the team management and the selectors have reposed in him.

  • pksmen on December 13, 2007, 0:46 GMT

    Inclusion of Sehwag is a surprise as well as a blunder. He has a defenite weakness against rising delivery when cramped for space whcih Australians will defenitely exploit.He is a favoured one given offered ample opportunities. His selection is based on past performances and that too os long time back

  • v.ilangathir on December 13, 2007, 0:38 GMT

    The Indian selectors always keep hitting the news,be it dada's forced exile or stonewalling the Wall,Dravid from one dayers against arch rivals at home after just one poor series in England or even for non cricketing reasons like the column issue. When Rahul was dropped,the message perhaps was loud and clear,that the selectors would prefer the men who are in good form over those not performing.Rahul did wonders for Karnataka with the bat when he played in a couple of Ranji fixtures scoring big runs. Now,Virender who has not at all showed even glimpses of his old brilliance in the domestic circuit has virtually been offered a lifeline whilst there are other players who have really been consistent and for no mistake of theirs have missed the plane to Oz.If Sehwag had been the 2nd choice for the 3rd openers' spot,then he should've figured in the 24.India have increased their problems on choosing the 11.For Viru this tour may well be the last stint with team India if he doesn't fire.

  • SGBatsForever on December 12, 2007, 23:46 GMT

    The selectors have caved in to pressure and selected Sehwag. Did not know Ian Chappell is now Chief Selector for BCCI! Hopefully the decision does not backfire on India big time. Sehwag is totally out of sorts. Anyway, the starting line-up for India on Boxing Day should be as follows- 1. Jaffer 2. Dravid 3.Laxman 4. Ganguly 5. Tendulkar 6. Singh (Yuvraj) 7. Dhoni 8. Kumble 9.Khan 10. Singh (RP) 11. Sharma

    12th Man-Karthik

  • sixesandfours on December 12, 2007, 23:26 GMT

    Cricket is a mind game. Opposition needs to plan and think about opponents confidence, Brave face, energy and enthusiasm on the Cricketing field. Few examples, can any one dare to take a Singe on the left of Yuvi? (Yousuf did and his stumps shattered). Can any one Pad up and play off gaurd on Kumble's deliveries? (Yasir Ahmed did 4 times and got LBW's). Can any bowler pitch up to Sehwag? )We know the Answer where the Ball would be). Sehwag is the kind of player make opposition keep thinking on their stratergies. We have seen him in the past and we will see him in the Australian tour the same way as we are seeing Ganguly's determined knocks. We have a player in Sehwag loves the game and a passion of playing and supporting indian cricket. (How many cricketers you see when not playing watching Cricket from an ordinary stadium stand sitting and supporting team India? Sehwag right there when Australians playing India recently and observing Ricky Ponting tactics). Sehwag silence the Critics!

  • VivSam on December 12, 2007, 23:04 GMT

    Sehwag needs perseverance. The man avgs 50 in test cricket for crying out loud. If he played for any other country he would be persevered with. We as indians have this mentality that if he fails 5 times he should be done and dusted.

    Did anyone do that to Dravid when he couldnt score double figures in a whole series ?? NO.....

    So why do that to a man who is more than 50% responsible for the turnaround of Indian Test Cricket ???

    Australia did that to M Slater and ruined his career. In contrast they did the exact opposite with M Taylor and look at how tubby finished his career. Both avg the same, score the same no. of centuries and were magical in their time...Then why treat them separately....especially when there is no one better.... Gambhir has done nothing in tests, chopra strikes at about 30 per 100 balls and cudnt manage a 50 in Aust, karthik is ok but he is keeper, and jaffer hasnt been tested against the best..

    Quote: Veru is tried tested & he has delivered...Chappel

  • VivSam on December 12, 2007, 22:56 GMT

    Look...All jokes n comments aside...

    Virendar Sehwag is a matchwinner. It is more than i can say for Jaffer, Karthik and gambhir. Yuvi either opens or waits his time. To be fair he isnt an opener. Mcgrath ate his alive. Lets not ruin him by asking him to play as an opener.

    India did well in Aust last time in the four tests because everytime dravid, sachin and laxman came in we had almost 150 to 200 runs on the board and we were scoring at 4 runs an over.

    I dont care if Viru gets 4 ducks and then squeezes a 50 or a hundred in there. What i care about is that India has made some intent. If kumble has brought him into the squad then by gees i hail the man. Just like Dravid before him, he realises that Australia can be brought down to earth in one innings by only one man...That man is Virendar Sehwag.

    They will ruin Veru if they keep playing him in the domestic Ranji Circuit. He is a big match player....a big series player....He cant play against the shytty domestic bowlers.

  • cricketdiva on December 12, 2007, 22:55 GMT

    By selecting Sehwag, the Indian selectors have once again proved that: a) Performance doesn't matter b) There are different rules for different players c) For some bizarre reasons some players deserve endless chances, while others barely get a chance to prove themselves d) Being a team player isn't really smart d) Despite one of the Chappell brother's disastrous tenure as a coach, we continue to listen to them and not use our own minds and brains

    Nothing much has changed since Mohinder Amarnath called them a bunch of jokers. Tough to be an Indian cricket fan as ever.

  • ak_sareen on December 12, 2007, 22:53 GMT

    I think decision is good but I also know that it gave big headache to our loving Kumble for best XI in boxing day test. Sehwag deserve his chance, I know the people above commented against Sehwag will love him he get big score on first day, but it all taking chance. I think Kumble should give him chance to play in tour match first and if he does well then in XI for boxing day test. No one is saying anything for Jaffer who had only one big score in last few matches. If I could given the chance to select best XI then I will go with SEHWAG, DRAVID, SACHIN, GANGULY, LAXMAN, YUVI, DHONI, KUMBLE, PATHAN, RP, ZAHEER. But in the end I am sure we will beat Aussie in Australia this time. GOOD LUCK INDIA! Men in Blue...........will be on top this time.

  • thakur.18 on December 12, 2007, 22:34 GMT

    Whatever thought selctors had in mind,Sehwag is in.But i dont understand why its said Gambhir was injured which was also a reason for Sehwag being selected.Even if Gambhir was fit,Sehwag deserves a place before Gambhir.But now Goodluck to Sehwag,we hope he performs.He needs to grab this opportunity with his Head. Gambhir doesn't belong to Test Cricket.anybody disagree? But thumbs up to Ian Chappell for pointing out The mistake in advance.and selectors be applauded for hanging on with Dinesh karthik,a future test batsman in Indian Team. Goodluck to the Team.

  • naani35 on December 12, 2007, 21:59 GMT

    I give this credit to Kumble/Ian Chappel Comments for changing the thought process of selectors who picked viru for Gambir.Proven Saying, India lineup always looks strong on paper not on field. To make india pride on batting heroes all of our batsmen should start practice with synthetic balls on cement pitches for Australia trip. It includes all big names Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman. We should more focus on bowlers. The drawback of indian cricket is what indian cricket lovers like about the game.Most of cricket players who play the game from child hood, Likes to bat than bowling.BCCI should look insight of how the game is playing from Rural level to First class.They have to change the selection process which was never done from last 50 years for bowlers.Pankaj Singh is good example. Provide few chances irrespective of big australian series.They have ruined the confidence of Munaf by asking more practise.They should have said to improve the performance.

  • batnpad on December 12, 2007, 21:54 GMT

    Pathetic decision. I.Chappell asks the question and Viru is rewarded. What has he done to merit the chance? Poor Chopra or even Parthiv should have been given the chance. Chappell and Aussies have already started their mind games and Indians are already losing. If VVS doesn't score, time to give Badrinath a chance. Any updates on Sreesanth?

  • RahulNEHRU on December 12, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    Sehwag is wise choice. He has great reactions, he stands tall and punbishes the ball through the covers and scores freely square of the wicket on both sides. Australia has fast and bouncy pitches; if Tait and Bracken continue to bowl that far outside the off-stump and bang it in short, Sehwag will reign perfectly.

    One of my prayers has been answered, Ishant is going to Australia. His height and bounce is going cause real upsets just as long as he bowls closer to the stumps and continues to bang it in short.

  • KRDP on December 12, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    I think all you guys have got it wrong on how to beat the Aussies. You can't beat them at their game. You have to capitalize on a weakness that appears to be a strength in test matches: their positive approach or their tendency to maintain high strike rates. Here is my version of leg theory:

    Bowl negative ( 2 balls wide outside off stump, one bouncer and on down legside) Setup fields which are containing not attacking. The Aussies will definitely try to force the issue since they are likely to be overconfident playing on their home grounds and will make mistakes.

    The biggest weakness this Aussie team has is their overconfidence and brashness.

  • yogesh1709 on December 12, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    It is good to see Sehwag back in the Test Team. Actually he should not have been dropped from the Test team. Because his test form was not bad. Sehwag has scored 12 Test Hundreds and his last eight hundred are all 150 plus scores. After scoring 195 runs during Indias last tour at Melbourne, his seven hundred are : 309 Vs Pak at Multan, 155 Vs Aus at Chennai, 164 Vs SA at Kanpur, 173 Vs Pak at Mohali, 201 Vs Pak at Bangalore, 254 Vs Pak at Lahore and 180 Vs WI at Gros Islet. He has scored atleast a century in every series and only failed in his last Test series in South Africa, afterthat he has been dropped from the team. He is a potential match winner in Test Matches and he should have played in all Test Matches to regain his touch and then included in ODI and Twenty20. But in Sehwag case he was given chances in ODI but was dropped from Test. Though he has not scored much in Domestic games but given a free he will definetly demolish aus attack and come out as winner. all the best.

  • maninthemiddle on December 12, 2007, 21:27 GMT

    A player should be picked on his present form and not on his past performance. Veeru surely was one reason why India was able to push the world champions to the wall by giving the team good starts along with Aakash Chopra and manage to score almost 500 runs in the series. But that was in 2004. His recent form is not very impressive. There are other batsmen who have been performing well in the recent past at the domestic level an they deserve a chance to prove themselves at the test level.

  • rcmad on December 12, 2007, 21:24 GMT

    Marvan Attapattu's description of the Sri Lankan selection panel appears to fit the Indian selectors as well. Sehwag's selection jarringly reminds us of Dravid's insistence on playing a clearly out-of form Sehwag in the World Cup. Is Kumble listening too much to Dravid? I wonder. Where are the youngsters? Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla... It does not look like the selectors are interested in building for the future. Laxman..a great batsman..has absolutely no cricket sense..cannot shepherd the tail..always remains unbeaten at the end. These are our stalwarts? Please..it is time to get some exciting young talent in the Test side as well. The 20-20 Indian side was a breath of fresh air. Absolutely filled with energy. And the regionalism that is evident in the 24-man team and in the 16..is deplorable. Pick the best. Please. I predict a whitewash by the Australians. They may play five pacers like they did in the recent 20-20 game against New Zealand. We are not ready.

  • SportsFanaticCricket on December 12, 2007, 21:11 GMT

    I think Sehwag deserves another chance. After he got married he did put on lot of weight. Looks like he has shed some of them. Playing test matches could help him do well in 1-day. I am hoping that he is included in 1-day and other ifs & buts.....

  • rajeev on December 12, 2007, 20:40 GMT

    shewag's selection to the team is a brilliant/bold move by the selectors.They have kept him out of the test team for far too long specially when he has done nothing wrong in test match cricket( expect only in one series, the tour of S.A. )He bat's at an avg. of almost 50.00(12 centuries) and with all the great Indian batsmen to have played the game surprisingly the only one to have scored a triple hundred(surely must have some sort of tallent)Being a middle order batsman he filled the role of an opener brilliantly(not too many batsmen in world cricket can do that)All thous people who say that he has got at lot of chances are confused with the format of the game(his form has dipped in one day and not in test cricket)A good reason to drop him would be if he avg in the 30's till that happen's let Shewag PLAY TEST CRICKET(give him the confidence that he belongs in test cricket)

  • ToTheTop on December 12, 2007, 20:32 GMT

    I think Sehwag should make his comeback in Australia. But if that means sacrificing our middle order by not playing Yuvi, that won;t work. Clearly the team needs dravid to open the innings with jaffer and then sehwag/laxman to come in at one down, with tendulkar, ganguly and yuvraj to follow. As long as the selectors can find a spot for sehwag and yuvraj in the team, I feel the indian team is ready for a younger side...

  • The_Rohit on December 12, 2007, 20:26 GMT

    I find your opinion about Sehwag's performance in the recent ODI series appalling! I have seen all the dismissals you were referring to. The shot against Afridi is one that has brought him a lot of runs, we've seen people like Dravid and Tendulkar get out to sillier run-outs in the past, and edging a left-armer to slips just happens in ODI cricket. To put this in context of 'he was playing for his place in the side' is totally wrong. He was just playing his natural game for the sake of the team! I guess people coming back to the Indian team should play like Ganguly has in ODI cricket...slow and selfish. Ganguly has a strike rate of 70 since his comeback. But all we hear are praises for him. Harbhajan Singh was dropped from the ODI team because of his lack of wickets. He bowled restrictive lines in 20-20 games, and was brought back to the ODI team! His wicket taking ability has not improved. I think Sehwag's fault is that he does not play for himself.

  • Grudge.Kid on December 12, 2007, 20:15 GMT

    I have read in one of the comments that Sachin, Rahul, Ganguly, and Laxman, are well past their best days. Do you follow cricket these days, mate? Ganguly is probably in his best test form. Dravid is definetly not but just so you know Australians are Laxman's punching bags. And of course It (playing against Australia) doesn't make a difference to the Master. If any, to make the team stronger, I would say put yuvi in place of Dravid (after the first test of course). And Rajesh, Irfan does deserve the spot more than Munaf. And yes what ever happened to Balaji. As far as Sehwag's inclusion, we just have to wait and see. No one can comment on it. He is a typical Indian batsman, he can win matches or lose matches for the team.

    Let's hope India will emerge on top and prove it to those Aussies that the next world leaders are getting ready to take over!!!!

  • CAPTAINSJSINGH on December 12, 2007, 20:06 GMT

    A very brave decision that may actually close all the doors for Virender, if this inclusion back fires. On the other hand I feel,in my opinion, that there is injustice being done to other players those who want to perform and have been performing in the domestic cricket. Unfortunately Virender's performance in the domestic cricket has not been impressive at all. HOW MANY CHANCES DO YOU NEED T OPROVE YOURSELF? I think it is time that the youngsters are given chance. Well, Sehwag has played well in the past and is currently going through a rough patch. He should prove himself and come in the team on MERIT and not based on what Ian Chappell had to say. Come on guys......ANOTHER CHAPPELL !!!!However, I wish Virender luck!!!!Cheers.

  • bagavatula_k on December 12, 2007, 20:03 GMT

    it is good to see sehwag back in the team. we cannot forget his innings in australia and pakistan. i feel definitely he will perform this time. my only concerrn is bowling. i strongly feel our bowling and fielding are the main concerns than batting. we never win convincingly based on bowlers. even if bowlers bowl well again fielding is the problem. having playing for so many years in the internationl cricket India never improves in these areas. we never had a bowler who is really threat to the opposition ever. our bowlers are more predictable except of kumble on many occasions. can BCCI take any measures to improve the standards of fielding and bowling.

  • Katri on December 12, 2007, 19:55 GMT

    I dont think that plying Dravid as an opener is a good idea. At the moment, he is suffering from the only noticeable loss of form in his entire career. I firmly believe that his shuffling around in the batting line-up during the Austraia ODI's has further contributed to his loss of form. Sanjay Manjerakar has rightly described him as the most selfless Indian cricketer in this generation. He is one of the best No.3 batsmen of all time and should be allowed to bat in the position of his choice in what might well be his last tour Down Under.

  • AlternateJones on December 12, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    If India has to harbour any ambitions of defeating Australia in Australia they would have to beat them at their own game, which is by playing aggressive cricket. If you look at it, their bowling is the most inexperienced in the last 10 years. We need somebody who will take this attack by the scruff of its neck right from the word go. If any man can do it, look no further than Sehwag. A man who can score 200 easily on a single day and thus make sure that we don't lose. Sehwag's inclusion could thus well be a master stroke. The Rest is upto the bowlers. As they say, The Batsem can only set it up, The Bowlers have to win it for you. Cheers!

  • perl57 on December 12, 2007, 19:17 GMT

    Veeru can consider himself the most luckiest person on earth. All he needed to do in SA third test was to score a fifty and give a good start and instead he is out the second ball. Dravid's one of the worst decisions. Now picking such a person who is compulsive cutter and compulsive "get out" character is a disaster. For everything only time will say but picking Sehwag is like not playing your percentages. Its not like picking afridi against India. He score a 195 in 2003. 5 years back. Anyhoo, bowlers are also quite a surprise but there is no harm in testing them out. But what about others, are we suggesting Nehra, Balaji, and others have just died down?

  • AftabU on December 12, 2007, 19:00 GMT

    It is total stupidity to recall Sehwag for AUS tour. He has done nothing of note worthy to demand a recall. He failed in all the chances that he was given in Twenty20 and ODIs. He performance in Ranji Trophy is pathetic. Moreover he is not certain to get into first XI, knowing how brilliant Yuvraj has been with the bat. If we wanted to have a 3rd opener in team ideal candidate would have been Parthiv Patel or Akash Chopra. Both of them have been scoring heavily in domestic cricket and also against visting A teams as opener. Parthiv did very good against visiting South Africa A team which has very good south african fast bowlers.Both Parthiv and Akash did very well with Bat in last tour of Australia.So they have experience of condition as well as they are in form. Truely selector are bunch of Jokers.

    First eleven for Melbourne test should be

    1. Dravid/Sachin 2. Jaffer 3. Sachin/Dravid 4. Ganguly 5. Laxman 6. Yuvraj 7. Dhoni 8. Irfan 9. Kumble 10. Zaheer 11. RP Sing

  • maco on December 12, 2007, 18:58 GMT

    I am glad selectors didnt pick agarkar,if openers fail sehwag might get chance to play in 3rd or 4th test

  • 01081955 on December 12, 2007, 18:41 GMT

    It looks like Indian selectors are either obliging Ian Chappell or plain stupid.Aakash Chopra or whoever else, is being handed a raw deal. A special talent, Sehwag may be, or was, he has been sorted out. Tendulkar, Dravid, Sourav and Lakshman have left behind their best days. Sehwag if he stays true to his recent form, he will end up embarrassing all. lIt is too clever of Ian for he has handed his country a sitting duck.

  • GlobalCricketLover on December 12, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    I simply cannot understand why Sehwag is given so many undeserving chances despite his long run of poor form. There are so many youngsters who are hardly given a decent a 5-6 match opportunity. It was ok when he was new and opposition didnt know much about him. But nowadays almost any decent attack knows how to get rid of Sehwag almost 10 out of 10 times. I guess that is the big difference between Sehwag and Sachin. While oppostions worked on their plans over Sachin, he too worked on countering them. In Sehwag's case it is the same sort of shorts doesnt matter how many times he gets out playing them. I bet you guys his average in Australia cannot be more than 30 if he happens to play all the tests...if at all!

  • Shanmuga on December 12, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    Sehwag is a real threat to Australia. Australia usually fear players who play attacking cricket like Lara, Sachin, Gayle, Vaughan to name a few. Sehwag has already belted them in Melbourne and Chennai. Further, Sehwag is quite unpredictable and can fire at any time irrespective of conditions such as weather, pitch, match situation etc. So, Australian will be wary about that. Australians dont have McGrath now, except clarke and to some extent Lee, others are potential candidates to suffer sehwag-blast on his day. I wish Sehwag all the very best to knock Australians in the Boxing day test. He has the ability, little bit of luck will make a huge difference to India's chances in the upcoming series.

  • MARGASAHAYAMSN on December 12, 2007, 17:59 GMT

    Hello I am sure there is a God who listens to Ian Chappel - Save Viru and ensure India's win aganist Ricky Ponting and his merry men! The basis of Sehwags inclusion merits the question : What is the rationale of team selection for India ? Is it to win or to say we have a team of players each in his day can win a game for us but collectively fail to do justice to the term VICTORY for INDIA based on performance ? -The selectors have no rational approach to ensure India has the correct team balance. Among batsmen / bowlers and fielders. This points to lack of a strategy. Without Strategy how are you going to beat the Aussies ? -The players (atleast Sourav / Sachin / Dravid / Kumble and Laxman) are ready to signoff - win or lose this is going to be their last trip to Oz. -The younger generation (Yuvi / Dhoni / Dinesh / Gambhir / Aakash ....) have really no place to function based on performance ? -The fielders - well less said the better!

  • Rajesh. on December 12, 2007, 17:44 GMT

    Well,

    More than dwelling on whether it was right on the part of the selectors to pick Sehwag we can put it this way : It was cruel to block the place of some other deserving candidate by opting for Sehwag. True that Sehwag might bring that X-factor but what impression does this u-turn by the selectors give others ? That however well you perform you won't be picked unless you are someone very special and close to the management.... Like Badrinath for example or even Akash Chopra who did such a wonderful & selfless job the last time around in Australia and paid the price for it !

    Secondly by dropping Munaf Patel again the selectors have only ruined his confidence even more rather than trying to encourage him. Honestly neither Pathan not Ishant deserved the chance more than Munaf. So too Harbhajan.... Today Murali Karthik & Ramesh Powar are definitelt better Test match bowlers than Harbhajan who only fires the ball in these days without any of the loop or guile a spinner should have.

  • venkatswaran on December 12, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    It is not "punting" on sehwag. It is a bold and imaginative decision on an established cricketer. On a batsman who had made a triple century, two big double hundreds and a big hundred, a century on test debut. don't confuse with age. if Tendulkar can get back his form at 34 Sehwag can also do it- all he needs is a couple of big scores. Lets think positively on Sehwag. with regards venkatswaran

  • Nipun on December 12, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    Well,it was a brave decision to include Virender Sehwag,but I just get the feeling that it might be a correct decision.I don't see Yuvraj breaking through this "strong" middle order(although Dravid isn't in the best of form),& it's unfortunate for Yuvraj to sit out although he is in a "deep purple" patch.However,Anand,you are dead right when you said that if he fails,this might be the end of the road for Sehwag.He has been given enough opportunities,& if he can't capitalise,it's his fault..... However,the Indian selectors got it absolutely spot on to leave out the hapless Munaf Patel.He can't bat,can't field,bowls 10 odd overs & hops off(Nehra could swing the ball,but Munaf can't do that either!).He would have been an ultimate liability in Australia where he would have been hammered with his 125 kph deliveries...& ultimately broken down.It would have been a good choice to take Ajit Agarkar because he has that knack of getting wickets & did so well in Australia last time...

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  • Nipun on December 12, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    Well,it was a brave decision to include Virender Sehwag,but I just get the feeling that it might be a correct decision.I don't see Yuvraj breaking through this "strong" middle order(although Dravid isn't in the best of form),& it's unfortunate for Yuvraj to sit out although he is in a "deep purple" patch.However,Anand,you are dead right when you said that if he fails,this might be the end of the road for Sehwag.He has been given enough opportunities,& if he can't capitalise,it's his fault..... However,the Indian selectors got it absolutely spot on to leave out the hapless Munaf Patel.He can't bat,can't field,bowls 10 odd overs & hops off(Nehra could swing the ball,but Munaf can't do that either!).He would have been an ultimate liability in Australia where he would have been hammered with his 125 kph deliveries...& ultimately broken down.It would have been a good choice to take Ajit Agarkar because he has that knack of getting wickets & did so well in Australia last time...

  • venkatswaran on December 12, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    It is not "punting" on sehwag. It is a bold and imaginative decision on an established cricketer. On a batsman who had made a triple century, two big double hundreds and a big hundred, a century on test debut. don't confuse with age. if Tendulkar can get back his form at 34 Sehwag can also do it- all he needs is a couple of big scores. Lets think positively on Sehwag. with regards venkatswaran

  • Rajesh. on December 12, 2007, 17:44 GMT

    Well,

    More than dwelling on whether it was right on the part of the selectors to pick Sehwag we can put it this way : It was cruel to block the place of some other deserving candidate by opting for Sehwag. True that Sehwag might bring that X-factor but what impression does this u-turn by the selectors give others ? That however well you perform you won't be picked unless you are someone very special and close to the management.... Like Badrinath for example or even Akash Chopra who did such a wonderful & selfless job the last time around in Australia and paid the price for it !

    Secondly by dropping Munaf Patel again the selectors have only ruined his confidence even more rather than trying to encourage him. Honestly neither Pathan not Ishant deserved the chance more than Munaf. So too Harbhajan.... Today Murali Karthik & Ramesh Powar are definitelt better Test match bowlers than Harbhajan who only fires the ball in these days without any of the loop or guile a spinner should have.

  • MARGASAHAYAMSN on December 12, 2007, 17:59 GMT

    Hello I am sure there is a God who listens to Ian Chappel - Save Viru and ensure India's win aganist Ricky Ponting and his merry men! The basis of Sehwags inclusion merits the question : What is the rationale of team selection for India ? Is it to win or to say we have a team of players each in his day can win a game for us but collectively fail to do justice to the term VICTORY for INDIA based on performance ? -The selectors have no rational approach to ensure India has the correct team balance. Among batsmen / bowlers and fielders. This points to lack of a strategy. Without Strategy how are you going to beat the Aussies ? -The players (atleast Sourav / Sachin / Dravid / Kumble and Laxman) are ready to signoff - win or lose this is going to be their last trip to Oz. -The younger generation (Yuvi / Dhoni / Dinesh / Gambhir / Aakash ....) have really no place to function based on performance ? -The fielders - well less said the better!

  • Shanmuga on December 12, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    Sehwag is a real threat to Australia. Australia usually fear players who play attacking cricket like Lara, Sachin, Gayle, Vaughan to name a few. Sehwag has already belted them in Melbourne and Chennai. Further, Sehwag is quite unpredictable and can fire at any time irrespective of conditions such as weather, pitch, match situation etc. So, Australian will be wary about that. Australians dont have McGrath now, except clarke and to some extent Lee, others are potential candidates to suffer sehwag-blast on his day. I wish Sehwag all the very best to knock Australians in the Boxing day test. He has the ability, little bit of luck will make a huge difference to India's chances in the upcoming series.

  • GlobalCricketLover on December 12, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    I simply cannot understand why Sehwag is given so many undeserving chances despite his long run of poor form. There are so many youngsters who are hardly given a decent a 5-6 match opportunity. It was ok when he was new and opposition didnt know much about him. But nowadays almost any decent attack knows how to get rid of Sehwag almost 10 out of 10 times. I guess that is the big difference between Sehwag and Sachin. While oppostions worked on their plans over Sachin, he too worked on countering them. In Sehwag's case it is the same sort of shorts doesnt matter how many times he gets out playing them. I bet you guys his average in Australia cannot be more than 30 if he happens to play all the tests...if at all!

  • 01081955 on December 12, 2007, 18:41 GMT

    It looks like Indian selectors are either obliging Ian Chappell or plain stupid.Aakash Chopra or whoever else, is being handed a raw deal. A special talent, Sehwag may be, or was, he has been sorted out. Tendulkar, Dravid, Sourav and Lakshman have left behind their best days. Sehwag if he stays true to his recent form, he will end up embarrassing all. lIt is too clever of Ian for he has handed his country a sitting duck.

  • maco on December 12, 2007, 18:58 GMT

    I am glad selectors didnt pick agarkar,if openers fail sehwag might get chance to play in 3rd or 4th test

  • AftabU on December 12, 2007, 19:00 GMT

    It is total stupidity to recall Sehwag for AUS tour. He has done nothing of note worthy to demand a recall. He failed in all the chances that he was given in Twenty20 and ODIs. He performance in Ranji Trophy is pathetic. Moreover he is not certain to get into first XI, knowing how brilliant Yuvraj has been with the bat. If we wanted to have a 3rd opener in team ideal candidate would have been Parthiv Patel or Akash Chopra. Both of them have been scoring heavily in domestic cricket and also against visting A teams as opener. Parthiv did very good against visiting South Africa A team which has very good south african fast bowlers.Both Parthiv and Akash did very well with Bat in last tour of Australia.So they have experience of condition as well as they are in form. Truely selector are bunch of Jokers.

    First eleven for Melbourne test should be

    1. Dravid/Sachin 2. Jaffer 3. Sachin/Dravid 4. Ganguly 5. Laxman 6. Yuvraj 7. Dhoni 8. Irfan 9. Kumble 10. Zaheer 11. RP Sing

  • perl57 on December 12, 2007, 19:17 GMT

    Veeru can consider himself the most luckiest person on earth. All he needed to do in SA third test was to score a fifty and give a good start and instead he is out the second ball. Dravid's one of the worst decisions. Now picking such a person who is compulsive cutter and compulsive "get out" character is a disaster. For everything only time will say but picking Sehwag is like not playing your percentages. Its not like picking afridi against India. He score a 195 in 2003. 5 years back. Anyhoo, bowlers are also quite a surprise but there is no harm in testing them out. But what about others, are we suggesting Nehra, Balaji, and others have just died down?