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Rohit should have played

india Updated: Nov 17, 2007 22:44 IST

A series win against Pakistan is a great achievement. Mahendra Singh Dhoni deserves to be complimented for discharging the captain's duties in a mature and responsible manner.

His deputy is not very far behind. The team always had a blend of experience and youth on paper. It is pleasing to see that blend being visible on the field.

Youth needs to be encouraged, but there can be no alternative to experience, as Sachin Tendulkar demonstrated at Gwalior. Zaheer Khan, another seasoned hand, also bowled well.

I would have been delighted had Virender Sehwag responded to my criticism of him in my previous column by thrashing the Pakistani attack.

He was guilty of throwing his wicket away once again. He is certainly not utilising his talent. It was nice to see him get another opportunity at Gwalior. However, the question that begs to be asked is; what about the others? Don't they deserve as much attention?

Let me clarify that I have nothing against Sehwag. The point I would like to make is, if the intention was to try a player out in the middle-order, then Rohit Sharma should have been picked. But what we saw was Sehwag coming in at no 4.

If they wanted to give Sehwag another chance, then he should have been included at the expense of Ganguly, who hasn't been among the runs in this series. The think-tank could have also considered omitting Gambhir, who has only been getting 20s and 30s.

India may have won the series, but the team is far from settled. There are quite a few middle-order batsmen who are banging hard on the doors of the national team, like Suresh Raina, S Badrinath and Manoj Tiwary.

I shudder to think what would be going on in their minds after having seen openers like Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and now Sehwag occupying the middle-order. An imbalance has been created and it needs to be sorted out sooner than later.

Pakistan's undoing at Gwalior was their failure to accelerate after Shoaib Malik and Younus Khan had got them off to a good start. Malik's decision to promote himself was the right one.

However, he didn't consolidate on a sound beginning. The visitors lost wickets fairly regularly, and virtually gifted the game to India.