Virender Sehwag, who was dropped from the Indian Test squad for the third and fourth Tests against Australia, found strong support in VVS Laxman and Sunil Gavaskar, with both former greats saying that Sehwag deserved to have got another chance.
While Laxman said that the decision to leave Sehwag out could prove detrimental for India's tour of South Africa that is scheduled in November 2013, Gavaskar pointed out that with India leading 2-0 against Australia and the series already secure, Sehwag could have been given an extended run to find form again.
Sehwag's axing came on the back of a poor run of form for the past few seasons, culminating in below-par returns in the first two Tests against Australia, with scores of 2 and 19 in the first Test at Chennai and 6 in the only innings India batted in Hyderabad. The failure in Hyderabad was compounded by the success of M Vijay, Sehwag's opening partner, who hit 167 to seal his place in the squad.
Laxman, who retired from international cricket on August 18, 2012, after a career spanning 134 Tests, believed Sehwag should have been given two more matches, including a chance to play in Mohali. Sehwag has hit two centuries in six matches at Mohali and averages 58.63 at the venue.
"It was important to give him two more matches. Especially in Mohali, Sehwag has always done well," Laxman told Mumbai Mirror. "The wicket there would have suited his game. It was a matter of one good knock for him to get back into form. Keeping in view the South Africa series, it is not a right decision. This would have been an ideal chance for him to come back into form."
Gavaskar also pointed to the pitch at Mohali as one that would suit Sehwag's batting style. "The ball comes onto the bat nicely in Mohali and Sehwag likes to bat on such surfaces. So, I think he could have been given a chance in Mohali for the third Test," Gavaskar told The Indian Express.
Sehwag, who was also dropped from the One-Day International squad for India's five-match series against England in January, promised to fight back for his place, taking to his Twitter account on Thursday (March 7), to emphasise that he hadn't lost confidence in his game and would do all he could to make a comeback to the team.