~~It~~s captain who decides the opening slot~~

Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Former India Test captains Polly Umrigar and Nari Contractor have not taken kindly to dashing batsman Virender Sehwag's views that he preferred a defensive player to partner him as opener.

"How can Sehwag comment on who should be his opening partner? The captain of the team is the best man to judge in consultation with the coach and senior members of the team," Umrigar said when contacted for his reaction.

Contractor, an opener himself, supported the views of his former teammate saying, "How can you (Sehwag) comment (on who should be his opening partner) without talking to Sourav Ganguly. It's for the captain and the selectors to decide."

Sehwag had said in Bangalore on Tuesday that he prefers defensive players like Aakash Chopra or Sanjay Bangar to open the Test innings alongside him as perfect foils to his own attacking ways.

"India needs one defensive opener, whose technique is correct who can easily play 15-20 overs," Sehwag had said, adding that with a stroke player like him opening the innings, nobody is sure whether he will last for 20 overs or one over or 100 overs, because he plays his (natural) game.

"My combination is very good with Sanjay Bangar and Aakash Chopra, because both are defensive players and they will play 15-20 overs easily and I will go for my shots," Sehwag had commented a couple of days after India captain Ganguly said that Yuvraj Singh would open in Tests against Australia.

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