India's dismal showing in the first two Tests in Australia January 8, 2012

'Drop VVS and get Rohit'

ESPNcricinfo staff
In the aftermath of India's defeats in Melbourne and Sydney, several former players expressed their views on what the team must do for the third Test in Perth, and for the future

"I would still drop VVS [Laxman] and get Rohit [Sharma] in for next Test. Makes long-term sense. Give Virat [Kohli] one more Test ... just to be sure he does not belong here. VVS averages 20 in last 12 overseas innings. Even if he gets a good score in next Test, it will not serve India long. Also if Virat, before the tour, was India's next big thing, should he not get more than two Tests on his first stint in Australia?"
Commentator and former India batsman, Sanjay Manjrekar. Here's more from Manjrekar.

"I think the left-arm spinner [Pragyan Ojha] could come in and do well. He's a good bowler and he's ready, and Ashwin obviously hasn't bowled well. I thought Umesh Yadav bowled very well in Melbourne, so you can't leave him out after one bad Test match, and he had bowled very well previous to that. It was probably just one of those Test matches for him." Former India captain, Sourav Ganguly

"A line-up may look brilliant on paper, but whether it's the best or not depends how it fares on the given day. Retirement is something a player should understand. But if you are not performing and the team isn't winning, your past laurels shouldn't help you retain a berth."
Kapil Dev, former India captain and allrounder

"We can't always think short-term. We need to start building a team as well. Sachin [Tendulkar] still has the class, Rahul [Dravid] is very hard working but I am not sure how long Laxman will be able to continue. You can't phase out all the three seniors at a time. You have to do that gradually. The youngsters will learn only in the company of the seniors."
Anshuman Gaekwad, former India opener and coach

"I would play both Virat and Rohit in Perth. You should let Virat play. He should be given more chances. If you drop him now, he will not enjoy his cricket anymore."
Kiran More, former India wicketkeeper and former selector

"I am sure many in this team now must be fearful of their future. Many don't have the back-foot play to ride over the pace, bounce and movement of these tracks. Nor do they have the patience to let deliveries outside off stump go harmlessly to the keeper ... the visitors need to break the mould in which they presently are trapped. Do they need to go for a change of personnel? They do. Rohit Sharma must be given an opportunity.
Ravi Shastri, commentator and former India allrounder

"The pendulum has shifted. Indian cricket must be bold and be prepared to lose with younger players. Let them learn the ropes. There is no point losing with declining giants."
Maninder Singh, former India offspinner

"The bitter truth is that we don't have new champion players who can take up the mantle. We might have left the best behind. We've been spoilt by success in the past 10-12 years. The big batting guns have long covered up other shortcomings but they are nearing the end. The increased dependence on Tendulkar after more than two decades is a sign of poverty."
Dilip Vengsarkar, former India captain and former chairman of selectors

"If you need to, play Dravid lower down and give the future No. 3 a go, maybe [Cheteshwar] Pujara. Play [Virender] Sehwag lower down if need be. Nothing is set in stone. We not only lack spirit and attitude but also the skill to adjust our technique. Our captain desperately needs ideas too."
Former India opener Chetan Chauhan

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Murty on January 11, 2012, 20:21 GMT

    Againast Australia and in Australia a team like India needs 2 experienced and 2 fresh/young batsmen and similarly 2 senior and 2 young bowlers. We had Virat Kohli and all the 5 Senior batsmen(Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Sehwag and Gautam) which is incredible on paper but not in reality. Similarly in bowling we had Zaheer and all the young bowlers. Essentially Indian team management was very confident that the batting line is going to demolish the struggling Aussie side, but it got the better of the Aussie side and demolished the Indian batting which should be a major concern for years to come. We need to play only 3 of those 5 batsmen and get in Parthiv Pate/Pujaral and Rahane to open the batting, definitely have either Rohit or Virat and then 3 of those above mentioned senior players. Similarly in bowling as well we need to have Zaheer and Harbhajan, and Ishant and Yadav. Ahswin could be all-rounder. Not sure if Dhoni is fit to be a captain for test-side but future would decide.

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    Why not drop Virat, Gambhir, Dhoni, Sehwag and Ashwin (Yes Ashwin bcoz he is playing like a Batsman so we can get a bowler instead of him. Though we don't have any). What they have done in last 10-15 matches. These guys are mad. How can u think about dropping VVS from Test. They should understand if Indian can play Test matches that is bcoz we have VVS and Dravid and Sachin also. If these guys, especially VVS and Dravid, are not playing, then I doubt that we will be a Test team. ICC may revoke our Test status :)

    Funny thing is that people like More, Manjrekar and Gaekwad are providing these silly comments on Laxman :) What a Joke!!!

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Sreeram Krishna, ill be polite and say that not a single indian will agree your views. You dont seem to be speaking with the best interests of indian cricket at heart. Sehwag doesnt have the technique to play swing? Wow. Such ignorance.

  • Sachin on January 11, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    I say for the future of Indian cricket they should move the Rahul, Sachin and VVS down the order and either bring in a young player in the top order, possibly Rahane. India need to develope another solid, realible top order batsmen so Kohli, and Rohit etc don't need to be facing a new ball every innings when Rahul, Sachin and VVS retire. I wouldn't drop VVS, a tall batsman who can deal with bounce at the WACA. My ideal team for the WACA would be 1. Sehwag 2. M. Vijay/Gambhir 3. Rahane/Gambhir 4. Dravid 5. Tendulkar 6. Laxman. If India does ot find another reliable top order batsman, India's woes will continue and Kohli and Rohit will struggle to score runs in the future.

  • Kannan on January 11, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    Its long been said by various Indian commentators that Rohit is the most talented Indian batsman around amongst the "youngsters". I surely would like to see him being given as much a chance as possible instead of seeing him wither away in his prime. I can't help think of Yuvraj being "blocked" by Ganguly when I write this!

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    it seems that the indian team is based on experience of previous failures...sehwag has scored but he is just bludgeoning the rahane with gambhir...sehwag at one down...dhoni at 4.. tendulkar, dravid,rohit and four fast bowlers... at perth adelaide play ojha...

  • Naresh on January 11, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    Drop Sachin? Why he is current top scorer on Indian side. He Played so well in SA. He was poor in England but also scored a 56 and 91 - so where is the logic? Maybe u can say that he is occupying a slot in the team. DHoni, Shewag, Gambhir ,Kholi and Dravid have not done much in this series. He is 38 and facing a pace battery that is amongst the best.

  • Manish on January 11, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    At present the kind of situation India is in to remain calm and make changes without making much fuss about it. Inclusion of Rohit Sharma is surely on the cards however the question is who is left out..Is it Laxman or Sehwag ?? Virat Kohli has certainly failed however as tiped by Sanjay Manjeraker he should given another chance at least at Perth. Australia at present is certainly riding high and why not both Hussey and Ponting have tasted blood at sydney and dont be surprized if Punter is planning a counter attack at Ishant sharma who back in 2008 series troubled him with one of the best spell of his life....Let's wait and watch....The series so far hasn't seen good partnership by openers from either side and mind you both sides have already discussed about it....Players to watch OZ..Ponting Hussey Warner...bowling Starc..Harris & from India..Tendulkar, Sehwag,Rohit Sharma..Bowling..Zaheer & Ishant sharma....

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    To be frank VVS and Sehwag never had technique to play swing blowing. They were able to score runs in past against swing bowling because of their Hand eye coordination was so good to pick up the swing early. But now both are getting old so their hand eye coordination is still not same to play swing. On Flat track where there is no swing they play well with static footmovement. We are only taking chances playing such technique less players in Swinging condition. Instead we need to be strong enough to drop them in such conditions knowing that they are fruitless. That is why VVS failed in England and Sehwag failed in Aus this year. Australia saw India's lack of ability to play swing bowling and then picked all swing bowlers instead of their traditional hit the deck bowlers. I don't think we can do much now, there is no one to replace VVS and Sehwag with decent technique and experience. Rohit has talent but his technique is yet to be tested.

  • Billy on January 10, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    The idea of dropping Sehwag is an interesting one. The Sehwag factor is always a critical factor in the opposition thinking and which has served India well over the past years. The past two tests have been great platforms on which Sehwag could have won the first test with a quick half century or saved the second test with a quick century. However, it was not to be and that is the other side of the equation; getting Sehwag out gives the opposition tremendous confidence and relaxes the bowlers; they know the others cannot hurt them with runs scored quicker than anyone else. So with Sehwag, it is high risk and high reward. This is not exactly the time when India need high risk in the long term. So maybe dropping Sehwag isn't so crazy. Of course, you can't drop him 2-nil down in a series, because that is exactly when high risk is needed.

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