Virender Sehwag backs Rohit Sharma and Ashwin to play first Test against Windies

He also felt winning is more important to gain points in the Test Championship.

Virender Sehwag
Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag. (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images)

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The Indian team management faces a tough task while selecting the playing eleven for the upcoming first Test against the Windies. India will kickstart their campaign in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship with the first of the two Tests in the Caribbean island. But before the game gets underway, the team needs to take some big decisions regarding the selections.

One of the biggest dilemmas is whether to play the game with six batsmen or five along with a wicketkeeper. Six batsmen would mean, India will have to sacrifice one specialist bowler, which, in all likelihood, would be a spinner. There will also be a toss-up between Rohit Sharma and Hanuma Vihari over the sixth batsman.

Both Rohit and Vihari have proved their credentials by scoring a fifty in the warm-up game. Not surprisingly, it will be a tough call for Team India to pick one between the two. But as the Indian team struggles to decide the final eleven, former India opener Virender Sehwag has weighed in on the topic. The legendary batsman has backed Rohit to take that slot at No.6 ahead of Vihari.

“India will have a look at the wicket and if it is good for batting, they (India) can pick five batsmen with a wicketkeeper and have five bowlers. It’s the World Test Championship, so winning is more important than to play for a draw,” Sehwag told India Today.

“Who played at no. 6 in the last series? Four is Virat, five is Rahane and six could be Hanuma Vihari because he can bowl a few overs too. But if you ask me, I will pick Rohit Sharma because he has the ability to score big hits. If there comes a stage where you are closing in on declaration, he can score those quick runs,” added Sehwag.

Ashwin over Kuldeep

India are likely to go into the game with just one specialist spinner. The toss will be definitely between Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav. Ravindra Jadeja is also an option but he is below Ashwin and Kuldeep in the pecking order. Speaking on it, Virender Sehwag said that he would prefer Ashwin over Kuldeep.

“I would prefer to play the best available spinner and I believe Ashwin is our best spinner ahead of Kuldeep. He (Ashwin) may soon break Harbhajan’s record of 417 wickets in Test cricket. If he is the best, he should play and in West Indies you are likely to get wickets similar to what you get in India. We all know how well he has bowled in India,” Sehwag said.

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