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What They Said About

'Drop VVS and get Rohit'

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

ESPNcricinfo staff
The calls for change - and VVS Laxman being the first senior to go - have grown louder after India's defeat at the SCG  •  AFP

The calls for change - and VVS Laxman being the first senior to go - have grown louder after India's defeat at the SCG  •  AFP

"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