Sehwag and Gambhir may be given another chance

Calcutta: Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir are probably on tenterhooks, but the national selectors could extend a career-saver, so to say, by retaining them for the start of the Test series against Australia.

Sandeep Patil and his colleagues meet in Mumbai on Sunday to pick the India squad for the first Test (in Chennai) or for the first two (second in Hyderabad).

It's a four-match series, beginning on February 22.

According to The Telegraph's sources, Sehwag and Gambhir's experience may just save them, despite both largely having had a poor season.

Having said that, Shikhar Dhawan has backers, but he hurt his cause by falling for a blob in Rest's second innings, on Friday. One outing shouldn't have a make or break effect, but memory in India, in particular, is rather short.

Sadly.

"If you ask me, Dhawan deserves a chance... He's a pretty consistent run-getter and has done well for teams such as India A... I wouldn't only look at his last score... He's a left-hander, which is important," observed Ravi Shastri, a former India captain and cricket manager.

Dhawan, 27, has featured in five ODIs and a solitary T20 International.

The sources also pointed out that veteran Harbhajan Singh, sitting on 99 Tests, and the in-and-out Sreesanth, are in contention.

Harbhajan's record versus Australia is awesome, with 81 of his 90 Test wickets against that country coming at home. No bowler anywhere (including Sir Ian Botham) has taken more wickets.

Sir Ian's Australia-specific tally at home is 79.

Coming off yet another injury, Sreesanth looked sharp for Rest and made even Sachin Tendulkar work hard.

If both Harbhajan and Sreesanth make a comeback, then it could be bad news for Piyush Chawla and Ashok Dinda. Chawla played in the last Test, against England, while Dinda was in the squad.

What's confirmed (but not officially) is that Zaheer Khan is still unfit and Ishant Sharma available for selection.

Zaheer, not getting any younger at 34, is recovering from a calf injury.

The Board has, typically, been silent on Ishant's sudden trip to Australia, but the quick himself tweeted that he's fine and has gone there just to get "insoles."

That's plenty of travel for mere insoles, but we have to take Ishant's word for it. He had words of advice: "Avoid the rumors."

Ishant, one learns, is expected back on Tuesday.

There's talk that Suresh Raina will be back. If so, then there won't be a place for Ajinkya Rahane.

The pundits feel that the very promising Bhuvneshwar Kumar should get a Test call-up and it will surprise if the men who matter choose to ignore the 23-year-old. His inclusion will have to be at the expense of Parvinder Awana, who was in the 15 for the last Test.

Shastri, for one, has already called for Kumar to be picked.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Pragyan Ojha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja will be there for sure.

To the extent things are certain in Indian cricket, that is.

One may add Sehwag, Gambhir, Raina, Ishant, Sreesanth/Dinda, Kumar, Harbhajan/Chawla.

Shami Ahmed is being seen as the dark horse.

The deliberations at the Cricket Centre, within the Wankhede complex, could take time.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of the Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusia… More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »