After being ‘ignored’ for the forthcoming Australia ODI series, veterans Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan will need to up the ante as they represent India A.
After being ‘ignored’ for the forthcoming Australia ODI series, veterans Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan will need to up the ante as they represent India A. They will be be seeking revenge for the opening-match humiliation against West Indies A in their second unofficial Test starting on Wednesday. Led under the captaincy of Cheteshwar Pujara, India A were beaten by a massive 162 runs in the opening match in Mysore and it will be interesting to see how Pujara and co. handle the team filled with heavyweights.
The ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ Virender Sehwag has not scored a century in 30 Test innings, while fellow Delhi teammate Gautam Gambhir’s dry spell with the bat has seen him without a century in 40 innings since January 2010. Bowler Zaheer Khan too has not been in good form, failing to take five wickets in a Test innings since October 2010, and his fitness and endurance has been a concern too. After the 2011 World Cup, he played just seven Tests, England being his last tour.
This test match will be an excellent opportunity for Sehwag and Gambhir, who have had a poor run in the NKP Challenger Trophy as well, to perform with the bat. With the kind of experience they have, the veteran openers will be eager to get big scores under their belt and make it difficult for the national selectors to ignore them for the upcoming West Indies series. In the recently concluded NKP Salve Challenger Trophy, Sehwag scored a poor 72 runs with a half century in three ODIs while Gambhir scored a mere 24 in two innings.
The onus of India A’s bowling attack will lie on Zaheer Khan, who spent time in the south of France with Yuvraj Singh to regain fitness. Zak will bolster the Indian attack that was out of sorts in the Mysore Test as Ishwar Pandey and Mohammad Shami did not fire in both the innings. They struggled to purchase wickets despite bowling 73 overs in the first innings for three wickets, conceding 224 runs between them. They went wicketless in the second innings as they failed to stick to a consistent line and length.
With time running out thick and fast for the veteran trio, it’s time they showed their mettle on the field and announce themselves on the international stage.
India A: Cheteshwar Pujara (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sheldon Jackson, Abhishek Nayar, Paras Dogra, Uday Kaul (wk), Mohammad Kaif, Parveez Rasool, Bhargav Bhatt, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zaheer Khan, Ishwar Pandey, Mohammad Shami.