Sachin Tendulkar ‘rested’, Rahane debuts – wishful thinking?

I write this on the eve of the fourth and final test between India and Australia in Delhi. With a 3-0 lead and an unbelievably vulnerable Australian side facing it, a 4-0 whitewash certainly seems possible. At the end of the 3rd test, captain Dhoni was asked about the approach to team selection for the 4th test and his response seemed to indicate that there was likely to be some changes (and not just those forced by injury, such as that to Shikhar Dhawan). It wasn’t an explicit statement as such, yet for some reason that’s how I interpreted it.

Here’s what I feel could happen – or may be should happen. The team management should give Sachin Tendulkar a rest and play Ajinkya Rahane in his place. They should also consider giving Ashok Dinda a go and leave out Suresh Raina who has been brought into the squad after Dhawan got injured and Gambhir was diagnosed with jaundice.

I am not in the ‘ask Sachin to retire’ camp– looking at his batting in the Australia series, he does seem hungry and good enough to play the South Africa series in about 8 months’ time; India could be well-served by his expeirince too. However, with the Australia series done and dusted, it is a great opportunity to give somebody like Rahane a well-deserved debut and see how he fares.

Personally, I feel doing something like this will be in the larger interest of the team. We’ll know whether the Indian team management can show the same adventurous spirit as the Australian ‘leadership group’ did by dropping 4 players for the 3rd test.

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