Hyderabad, Mar 4: Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday defended out-of-form Virender Sehwag, who continued to disappoint the selectors having been dismissed for 6 in the first innings of the second Test match against Australia at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Virender Sehwag who has been struggling to strike form over the last couple of months, has recorded scores of 2, 19 and 6 in the series against Australia which makes one feel the dashing opener's on the field exploits are fading every passing day.
Despite his poor form, Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday defended the Delhi opener, as he said "Sehwag got a killer ball. Any batsman would get out so it is time Sehwag needs our understanding. Someone who has got over 8000 Test runs has to be respected. Like skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said, Sehwag needs a long long rope and I agree."
Though the dashing opener has proved how dangerous he could be on the cricketing field, his current form is certainly a reason to worry.
Emphasising on the need to go ahead with Sehwag and the way he got out in the first innings on Sunday, Gavaskar told NDTV, "That's the way he plays and if he was around, India would have been 360 and not 311."
Elated with the kind of partnership Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara got, Gavaskar said they played extremely well.
"It was an excellent partnership. They gave the first session to the bowlers and then hit back hard. Both showed that they were prepared to wait. Once they got the hang of the pace, they took full control in the second session. That they scored above 300 runs means the rate of scoring was good too," he said.
Praising Pujara on his brilliant knock, Gavaskar said "Pujara has begun on the right note. He is giving Indian batting substance which is what is needed. He can play spin and pace well and that is what you need at number three. He certainly is looking very, very good."
Having witnessed two centuries from the top order, when asked about Australia's chances of bouncing back in the Test, he said "Australia won't win this match. They may save it but won't win it. India will add another 150 if not more which means a lead of 280. It (then)won't be easy for Australia to score over and ask India to bat again."