Former cricketers question VVS Laxman's place in Indian team

VVS Laxman has scored only one half-century in the first two Tests against Australia Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

New Delhi: Jan 7, 2012

Former Indian cricketers Anshuman Gaekwad and Kiran More opine that senior batsman VVS Laxman should be axed from Team India for the third Test against Australia at Perth, which should mark the beginning of the team s rebuild.

India suffered their sixth consecutive overseas Test loss at Sydney when they were crushed by an innings and 68 runs by Australia on Friday.

In 2010, India had suffered a 4-0 drubbing in England, and losses in the first two Tests against Australia have seriously dented the pride of the world’s strongest batting line-up.

“We can’t always think short-term. We need to start building a team as well. Sachin still has the class, Rahul is very hard working but I am not sure how long Laxman will be able to continue,” said former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad to Reuters.

Gaekwad opines that young middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma should be given a chance in the third Test at Perth, which begins on January 13.

“It’s not that Virat is not batting well. He’s just getting out. But all the others are also struggling. If you drop him now, it will dampen his confidence. You can’t phase out all the three seniors at a time. You have to do that gradually. The youngsters will learn only in the company of the seniors,” he said.

Former India wicketkeeper-batsman More opined, “I would play both Virat and Rohit in Perth. You should let Virat play, he should be given more chances. If you drop him now, he will not enjoy his cricket anymore.”

Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar is also of the opinion that Rohit should get a nod ahead of Laxman for the third Test.

“I would still drop VVS and get Rohit in for next test. Makes long-term sense. Give Virat one more test … just to be sure he does not belong here,” he wrote on Twitter.

“VVS averages 20 in last 12 overseas innings … Even if he gets a good score in next test it will not serve India long… Also if Virat, before the tour, was India’s next big thing … Should he not get more than two tests on his first stint in Australia?” he added.