Sehwag, Pathan to feature in WACA Test

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Perth: Virender Sehwag is all set to make a comeback for the third Test against Australia starting at the WACA on Wednesday as the India look to keep the series alive.

The Delhi swashbuckler staked his claim with a blazing century in the tour match in Canberra last week and captain Anil Kumble said he was almost certain to be picked. However Kumble said the team would be announced after taking a final look at the WACA wicket meant the final list will only be announced just before the toss.

"We still have to have a final look at the pitch but in all probability Sehwag will come in," Kumble told a news conference on Tuesday.

Sehwag's inclusion would force the Indians to reshuffle their batting lineup, Kumble said, with the most likely scenario being Wasim Jaffer retains his place and opens the batting with Sehwag.

The 29-year-old right-hander has not played a Test in 12 months but has an impressive record, scoring 4,155 runs, including 12 centuries, from 52 Test appearances at an average of 49.46.

He is also highly rated by the Australians after making a memorable 195 in the Melbourne Test on the last tour.

Yuvi to warm the bench: Rahul Dravid, who opened in the first two Tests, would revert back to his normal position at number three while Vangipurappu Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly would all drop back one spot with Yuvraj Singh likely to be dropped.

"I think we'll stick to the regular batting order that we've had and have the quality of Dravid at three," Kumble said.

"It's not a question of finalising the batting order, it's just a matter of going out there and getting the runs, that's something we need to do. The quality is there."

Kumble said India were also toying with adding an extra seamer for the notoriously fast WACA pitch.

Irfan Pathan is the most obvious candidate, possibly at the expense of spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has been cleared to play pending his appeal against a three-match ban for racial abuse.

Meanwhile Australian skipper Ponting said: "We will be ready for whatever team they put out," Australia captain Ricky Ponting said.

"He's (Sehwag) a very dangerous player but all of our guys have played enough against him to know what his strengths and weaknesses are, hopefully we can keep him under wraps."


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