Viru should bat with responsibility: Chauhan

2007-08 Aus tour manager and former opener Chetan Chauhan talks tough about India's batting debacle

Chetan Chauhan, who was responsible for Virender Sehwag's resurgence after being dropped from the Test team in 2007, has lambasted the Delhi dasher for his reckless batting in the first two Tests against Australia. Sehwag's sequence of scores in Melbourne and Sydney Tests is 67, 7 & 30, 4.

Easy Viru: MS Dhoni watches Virender Sehwag hit hard during a net
File Pic/Suresh KK

Chauhan (64) was India's manager during the 2007-08 acrimonious series Down Under and claims to have played a role in getting Sehwag back in the playing XI for the Perth Test after being ignored for the first two Tests.

"I suggested a few changes. One of them was bringing back Sehwag into the team. The rest as we know, is history," Chauhan told MiD DAY from New Delhi yesterday.

Chetan Chauhan

Sehwag won back his place in the team after scoring a century in a tour game against ACT Invitational XI. He played an important role in the famous Perth Test win, scoring 72 and taking two crucial wickets. In the fourth and final Test at Adelaide, he scored a match-saving 151 in the second innings.

Chauhan now wants Mahendra Singh Dhoni to be a taskmaster, like then skipper Anil Kumble and tell Sehwag to bat with some responsibility in the Perth Test starting January 13 to keep India's chances of saving the Test series alive.

"Dhoni has to tell Viru to bat responsibly. He can't get away playing reckless shots when his team wants him to stay at the wicket. He has to understand the situation and adjust his game accordingly. "I understand his role is to attack the opposition, but it (role) has to change as per the situation. Sehwag must change his game," insisted Chauhan.

What baffled the former opener was that tailenders were scoring under pressure. "If R Ashwin can score a half century in the second innings of the Sydney Test, then why can't our frontline batsmen," he asked. Chauhan emphasised on not giving away wickets easily. "It doesn't matter how much you score. We have to tire their (Australian) pacers. Somebody has to play a long innings like Sunil Gavaskar used to do.
"You have to value your wicket. Our guys need to understand one thing clearly... this is Test cricket and you have to bat with guts and determination."

Vote for Rohit
Chauhan joined the chorus in giving Rohit Sharma a break for the third Test. "Rohit should be given a chance and he should bat at No 5. "VVS Laxman should be given another chance because he scored a half century in the last Test and looked good. Also, we don't have an able replacement for Laxman if we decide to drop him."

Tomorrow: Chetan Chauhan tells MiD DAY how India got over their Perth pangs and won in 2008

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