Virender Sehwag’s exclusion from the ODIs against England may not stop the selectors from making further changes if need be. Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Gautam Gambhir will also be assessed closely, according to a top official associated with the Indian cricket board.
Rohit has registered pin-code like scores in his last six innings: 5, 0, 0, 4, 4 and 4. It’s common knowledge that he wouldn’t have made it to the squad had Manoj Tiwary been available for selection. Ambati Rayudu is another talent commanding attention.
“We will wait and give them a few games to prove themselves. We don’t want to be criticised for not backing the right talent,” the official said. “Please understand that the likes of Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh cannot be replaced in a day.”
However, Sehwag’s ODI career could be virtually over. The next 50-over World Cup is two years away. Sehwag will be 36 then and is unlikely to be in the selectors scheme. His Delhi mate Shikhar Dhawan has been remarkably consistent and might get rewarded at some stage. “How can you deprive Shikhar when he has already scored over 1000 runs this season?” the official asked.
Dhawan has recorded five centuries this season: one in the Challengers, two in the Duleep Trophy and two in Ranji. And he brings in energy to the field. The selectors are keen to watch him in the side game at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground on Tuesday.
Shami Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have won their hearts, meanwhile. The official said, “The young legs really made the difference against Pakistan in the last game. Though Ajinkya Rahane didn’t impress with the bat, his agile fielding had a bearing on its outcome. Bhuvneshwar needs to prove his batting abilities to be considered as an all-rounder. Whereas Shami looks promising and with confidence should up his pace.”