Jaipur: Twenty-eight months after his last Test appearance, Sadagopan Ramesh is set to make a comeback at The Gabba, on Thursday, against the ruthless Australians.
According to The Telegraph’s sources, he will open with Virender Sehwag, bringing about a return to the days of a left-right combination at the very top of the order.
Akash Chopra, therefore, looks destined to sit out despite fine performances in both Tests (at home) versus New Zealand. Obviously, Ramesh’s form on tour has helped his cause immensely. He top-scored with 87 in the opening innings — against Victoria — and, then, was unbeaten on a well-compiled 37 in the match versus the Queensland Academy of Sports. In between, he had 36 and 21.
Actually, with the big guns not exactly firing, the thinktank isn’t in a position to ignore somebody who appears to have adjusted well. It’s another matter that Ramesh neither opened against Victoria nor did he launch any of the two innings versus the Academy XI.
Meanwhile, unless there’s a rethink, Team India will have a 3-1 bowling combination: Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra are certainties, while Harbhajan Singh is expected to pip Anil Kumble.
Parthiv Patel, of course, will wear the big gloves. However, he is somewhat on notice and can ill afford to be tardy if he is looking to ’keep in all four Tests.
The middle-order, predictably, will wear an experienced look with vice-captain Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, captain Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman occupying slots 3-6.
LIKELY INDIAN XI (as of Tuesday evening)
Virender Sehwag, Sadagopan Ramesh, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra.