'Sehwag deserved another chance'

Calcutta: At a time when there is criticism from almost every corner, Virender Sehwag has found support from Sunil Gavaskar.

Sehwag, who hasn't been among runs of late, has been dropped from the Indian squad for the last two Tests against Australia.

Gavaskar, a former India captain, feels that Sehwag "deserved" another chance keeping in mind the batting-friendly pitch in Mohali, which will host the third Test against Australia from March 14.

"The ball comes onto the bat nicely in Mohali and Sehwag likes to bat on such surfaces. So I think he could have been given a chance for the third Test," Gavaskar told a television channel on Thursday.

Gavaskar is also confident that the out-of-form Sehwag would certainly stage a comeback. He categorically said that he doesn't think it is the end of the road for the dashing opener. He even stressed that saying Sehwag is out of form is incorrect.

"I don't think this is the end of the road for him. He has got a 100 at the start of the season against England. I think it's just the perception, the way he goes about his cricket. I don't think he is totally out of form," Gavaskar said.

He pointed out that Sehwag was being undone by great deliveries. "He is getting out to terrific deliveries. He got out to a beauty in Hyderabad, while in Chennai, the extra pace got the better of him."

Asked if Sehwag could be slotted in the middle order in future, Gavaskar said that given the opener's vast experience he would certainly be useful for the team in the middle-order. He explained that Sehwag would be the ideal man to counter the second new ball.

"With his experience, he would be useful batting at No.5 or No. 6, especially to counter the second new ball," Gavaskar said.

But not everyone is equally convinced about Sehwag. His one-time teammate and a former India captain, Rahul Dravid, had on Wednesday said that the Indian selectors would have to consider whether Sehwag fits into the scheme of things of the current side.

"I think the selectors and management need to decide whether they are going to open with Viru in South Africa. I mean Viru playing well, Viru at his best, is a great asset to any side, but the reality is that he hasn't been performing particularly well, and he hasn't really done well on overseas trips over the last two or three years," Dravid had said.

Dravid had also supported the view that the youngsters should be given a chance before the overseas assignments. "I think it makes sense to try out another youngster, or try out another opener, and give him the opportunity to play at least a couple of Test matches in more familiar conditions, before going to South Africa. I think it will be unfair on any young opener to be asked to go to South Africa straightaway, and play against the likes of Steyn, Philander and Morkel," Dravid had said.

Former Australia batsman Dean Jones feels that it would be difficult for Sehwag to make a comeback. "It's going to be difficult for him to make a comeback. I am starting to worry for him now and, with the South Africa series coming up, it's not going to be easy."

Related report: Page 16

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

1st Test Live: All eyes on Indian bowlers

1st Test Live: All eyes on Indian bowlers

TRENT BRIDGE, DAY 3: England resume behind a deficit of 414. More »

Change of attitude aids remarkable stand

Change of attitude aids remarkable stand

India's recent track of record of lower-order runs is poor, but they began correcting that with a mammoth 10th wicket stand which showed the application… More »

Cook's dismissal betrays frazzled mind

Cook's dismissal betrays frazzled mind

Some may say that the England captain's dismissal was unlucky, but it was the latest example of the demons he is battling as the form slump grows long… More »

The joy of one, the pain of another

The joy of one, the pain of another

The No. 11 of India's order did something the No. 1 of England's order can only dream of at the moment: score a Test fifty. More »

Gavaskar moves SC in BCCI pay dispute

Gavaskar moves SC in BCCI pay dispute

He claims not being paid for his term as BCCI president. More »

Bhuvneshwar, Shami in record-breaking stand

Bhuvneshwar, Shami in record-breaking stand

Indian batsmen, including the lower order, apply themselves to bat long periods collecting records along the way. More »

India's opening conundrum

In the last three-and-half-years, India's opening combinations have averaged 18 per partnership overseas, with only one 50-plus stand in 35 attempts More »

Bracewell replaces Milne in NZ A squad

Bracewell replaces Milne in NZ A squad

Fast bowler Doug Bracewell has been called up to the New Zealand A squad for the tour of England as a replacement for the injured Adam Milne. More »

India gets a tail-end boost

India gets a tail-end boost

Although they lost four quick wickets after lunch, India rode a last-wicket 111-run partnership to safety. More »

Zimbabwe set for major changes

Zimbabwe set for major changes

ZC's cricket committee has suggested appointing a director of cricket to oversee all training programs and splitting the captaincy across formats More »

Sethi returned as PCB chief

Sethi returned as PCB chief

Yesterday, he had been removed by the apex court. More »

Millionaire Vijay meets the coal-miner

Millionaire Vijay meets the coal-miner

The opener needed a bit of luck. And he made it count at Trent Bridge. More »

Highlights: England vs India, 1st Test

All the moments that mattered during the series opener. [Scores] More »

How to get through five Tests in 42 days

How to get through five Tests in 42 days

England and India must trade players across teams and also consider part-time positions. More »

In Larwood country

In Larwood country

This correspondent heads to Nuncargate to find out more about one of England's most fearsome fast bowlers. More »

Groundsman apologises for 'Indian' pitch

Groundsman apologises for 'Indian' pitch

Nottinghamshire head groundsman Steve Birks said things hadn't gone to plan after appearing to produce a pitch ideally suited for India, rather than… More »

Resurgent Lanka level series

Resurgent Lanka level series

Hashim Amla scored a ton in vain as Sri Lanka overpowered South Africa by 87 runs at Pallekele in the 2nd ODI. More »

Vijay century gives India opening honours

Vijay century gives India opening honours

1st TEST, DAY 1: The Chennai batsman's first overseas ton saw India to 259/4 at close. More »

Kiwi Test openers lose contracts

Kiwi Test openers lose contracts

Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton have both been axed from the central contract list for 2014-15. More »

Najam Sethi removed as PCB chairman

Najam Sethi removed as PCB chairman

Najam Sethi has been removed as PCB chairman by the government of Pakistan and an interim setup will take charge of the board, under the chairmanship of… More »

Lyon added to Australia A squad

Lyon added to Australia A squad

Test spinner Nathan Lyon will have a chance to put into match practice some of his recent work with Muttiah Muralitharan after being added to the Australia… More »

A rare century and Anderson's 50

A rare century and Anderson's 50

Stats highlights from the opening day at Trent Bridge, when Murali Vijay scored his first overseas Test century More »

Dilshan can't get enough of Pallekele

Dilshan can't get enough of Pallekele

Perhaps it is the cooler mountain air or the smell of rain - whatever the difference, Tillakaratne Dilshan soars at his favourite venue. More »

England 'frustrated' with pitch

England 'frustrated' with pitch

Another low, slow surface did nothing for the home attack on the first day in Trent Bridge. More »