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Home > Cricket > India's tour of Australia 2007 > Report

Sehwag out, Dravid all set to open against Australia

December 25, 2007 19:39 IST

In a clear indication that Rahul Dravid [Images] will be given the opening slot, the Indian team management has decided to leave out Virender Sehwag [Images] and Dinesh Kaarthick from the 12 shortlisted for the first cricket Test against Australia starting in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Sehwag, whose very selection for the tour raised eyebrows as he was not even in the list of probables for the series, has probably been left out to accommodate an in-form Yuvraj Singh [Images].

His ouster paves the way for Dravid to open the innings with Wasim Jaffer [Images], after a gap of two years and the right-hander has already stated that he is willing to do the job for the team's sake.

"If I am asked to open in the Test matches, I will be happy to do so. I am comfortable doing any role that is given to me by the team management. I try and do the best I can, irrespective of where I bat," he had said when the speculation about him opening the batting first started.

In the bowling department, it will be a toss up between off-spinner Harbhajan Singh [Images] and pacer Ishant Sharma. But after skipper Anil Kumble [Images] gave hints of going in with a two-pronged spin attack, Harbhajan's chances of making the playing XI look stronger.

"Yes, there is a case for playing two spinners, but it all depends on how the pitch looks the morning of the match. We will take a final call on the matter tomorrow morning," Kumble told a pre-match conference here on Tuesday.

Rookie pacer Pankaj Singh has also been left out of the probable 12.

The team: Anil Kumble (capt), Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar [Images], Sourav Ganguly [Images], Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni [Images] (wk), Zaheer Khan [Images], RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan Singh.

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