With India struggling in both the batting and bowling department in South Africa and now in New Zealand, the selectors might be forced to fall back on some of the experienced hands who were axed sometime back due to their poor performances, and have been toiling in domestic cricket since. Here’s a look at how some of them have been doing.
Virender Sehwag: The 35-year-old seems to have lost his touch completely. He hasn’t got a century in first class cricket for a while now. Playing for Delhi, he got a half-century against Vidarbha and a 44 against Odisha. He has failed in most other matches. Sehwag was given a chance to impress the selectors when he was included in the India A team which took on West Indies A. But, he wasted those opportunities as well, making only 7 and 38. Sehwag wants a place in the Indian middle order, but he hasn’t done enough to merit a comeback yet.
Gautam Gambhir: Unlike Sehwag, his former opening partner is in a better position to command a comeback. The 32-year-old left-hander smashed 123 for India A vs West Indies A at Hubli in October last year. He has been in consistent form for Delhi as well. Gambhir made 153 against Haryana apart from registering half-centuries in both the innings against Mumbai. He made a half-century in match against Karnataka as well. With both Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma struggling, India might have to fall back on Gambhir soon. But, if that happens, whether he is better prepared this time round remains to be seen.
Harbhajan Singh: Like he did during his stint with the national squad, Harbhajan has been having a mixed run in domestic cricket as well. He grabbed an impressive haul of nine wickets while playing for Punjab against Odisha. In the same game, he also scored an unbeaten 49. In the very next match against giants Mumbai, he had excellent figures of 4 for 90 and 4 for 67. Since then though he hasn’t had much luck with the ball. He had only wicket to show in the match against Gujarat and modest returns of two each against Jammu and Kashmir and Karnataka although he did smash a dazzling 92 against J&K.
Munaf Patel: Once the next big thing in Indian cricket, Patel has been out of the reckoning for a while now, but he is still only 30, and if he shows glimpses of old, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be given another chance at the international level. So far, he hasn’t done that. Apart from the match while playing for Baroda against Services when he picked up 10 wickets, Patel has had a struggle. He had only one wicket to show against Railways, none against Madhya Pradesh and one against Rajasthan.
--By A Cricket Analyst