Virender Sehwag not likely to be dropped for India vs Australia Mohali Test

Virender Sehwag

Winning combinations are generally not tampered with and it is likely to be the case when the Indian selectors, on Thursday, announce the Test squad for the third and fourth matches to be played in Mohali and New Delhi.

However, Virender Sehwag's lack of runs in the first two matches; 27 from three innings, forced the selectors to discuss his future at the end of the Hyderabad Test but the opener is set to retain his place, a source said.

The lack of a long-term or proven alternative and the fact that India have a series of away tours, starting with the trip to South Africa at the end of this year, means Sehwag will get a lifeline. It is reliably learnt that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni still has faith in Sehwag because of his experience and match-winning potential, and he has conveyed the same to the selectors.

Sehwag's 117 versus England in the first Test at Ahmedabad seemed to have brought an end of his extended slump but in his next six innings Sehwag could score just 136 runs.

When asked about Sehwag's future at the end of the second Test in Hyderabad, Dhoni said: "You have to create a balance but that's a difficult one to comment on. You also need to see what situation we are in, because we will be touring abroad and we don't have that many Test matches after this series. In between we hardly play any Test matches and we go off to South Africa. So we will have to wait and watch. I won't really like to comment."

Waiting in the wings

The call that Dhoni needs to take is whether to play an out-of-form Sehwag in the next two games or blood Shikhar Dhawan, the third specialist opener in the side, in familiar home conditions. Sehwag's Test average dropped below 50 (49.34) for the first time in over three years but his proven pedigree — 8,586 runs in 104 matches, 23 hundreds — is prompting the team management to think twice.

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