New Delhi, Jan 5: The repeated failures of senior openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag has raised a huge question mark about their selection for the ODI series against England amid increasing pressure on selectors to drop under-performing players in the wake of recent debacles.
Talented Cheteshwar Pujara is all set to get a call-up when the selectors meet here on Sunday (January 6) to choose the team for the upcoming five-match ODI series against England starting in Rajkot from January 11.
According to sources in the selection committee, there is a high possibility that one among Gambhir and Sehwag will be getting the boot while MS Dhoni's good show with the bat against Pakistan will put captaincy speculation to rest for the time being.
Pujara's entry is almost certain after his splendid double century against Madhya Pradesh at Rajkot where he reached 200 from 150 in only 17 deliveries. Also the first match will be played on the Rajkot featherbed where Pujara has scored 90 percent of his runs.
In case of openers, Gambhir has two centuries and two half centuries having scored 388 runs at an average of 38.80 his last 10 ODIs while Sehwag has managed a meagre 238 runs at a dismal average of 23.80 in his last ten ODI appearances.
But it is their prolonged failure to provide a good start that has hurt the team the most. The selectors will be meeting at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground after the third and final ODI against Pakistan and some of the players may still retain their position by putting up a good performance.
As of now, the five wise men led by Sandeep Patil want young Ajinkya Rahane to get a long rope as he has been warming the bench in the 50-over format for nearly one year now.