Melbourne:The choice of Rahul Dravid as opener for India's opening cricket Test against Australia on Boxing Day next week is not cast in iron yet.
Apparently, a rethink is on within the Indian ranks if it would be wise to put their trusted man in the middle order at the top of the ranks.
A few things have contributed to the rethink, the primary being the options at number three in Dravid's absence and whether he is in best shape to be given a role which nobody else in the middle order is keen to own.
Dravid, essentially a team-man, has gone on record that he wouldn't hesitate from owning up any responsibility that comes his way for the good of the team but he might not be faced with the difficult choice now.
Till the start of the three-day game against Victoria on Thursday, the thinking was to put Dravid at the top of the order and pitchfork VVS Laxman at number three. These two were the best bats against Australia in 2003 and the opinion was to again put them at the forefront.
But both are unused to this position and Dravid is fighting his own demons, inflicted on him after his ouster from one-dayers, a few technical cobwebs as well as the new task of opening the innings.
Both Dravid and Laxman had scored in excess of 1000 runs in Australia last time the Indians toured Down Under in 2003-2004.
It appears that Virender Sehwag, the nowhere man in Indian cricket till a week back, has been put on alert and he wasted little time in rushing to the MCG indoor nets this afternoon to give himself some serious workout against bowling machines.
If the status quo is maintained and Dravid indeed takes his customary position, then it would almost certainly mean that Yuvraj Singh would again be sitting out.
Yuvraj, whose entire career has been mired by his bad luck in forcing his way into the Indian Test, appeared to have turned the corner when he smashed a rousing 169 against Pakistan in the last Test at Bangalore at the start of this month.
Sunil Gavaskar, who spent some time with Dravid before the start of the three-day game, making expansive gestures on a few technical issues, appeared to have an insight into the Indian team's thinking when he said on a television channel this morning that he preferred Sehwag as an opener for the first Test.