The mood in the Indian camp may have been dampened a bit with the news of man of the match Shikhar Dhawan being ruled out for Friday’s fourth and final Test at New Delhi.
Dhawan, who scored a record-breaking 187 on Test debut in Mohali, hurt his knuckles while fielding at the boundary on Day Four of the third Test against Australia. The southpaw did not bat in India’s second innings in a game that the hosts won by six wickets in the final hour to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy yesterday.
Dhawan’s absence has created an opportunity for the team think-tank to test youngsters on the bench. “We may try a few things in Delhi (Test),” skipper
MS Dhoni hinted during the post-match presentation.
Former chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar reckoned Ajinkya Rahane deserves to get a look in for the final Test. “It is a perfect occasion to introduce Rahane to Test cricket. He has been with the team for a very long time now. It can get frustrating for any player if he is made to sit out.
“It is high time Rahane gets his Test cap. The Delhi Test will be a perfect start to his career. India have won the series and the pressure won’t be too much. It will also test his skills and match temperament,” Vengsarkar told MiD DAY.
Rahane has been warming the bench for the last three home series — New Zealand, England before Australia. When he was picked for the two-Test series against the Kiwis, but Suresh Raina got the nod ahead of him. Raina failed to impress the selectors in the Hyderabad and Bangalore Tests.
Vengsarkar is keen that Rahane should open the innings. “He has always been a top-order batsman for Mumbai. He used to open for Mumbai and was quite successful. He has been one of the most consistent performers in domestic cricket.
It is important that the team management gives him the opening slot. It will give him some time to settle in and calm his nerves,” said the former India captain.