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India should open with Dravid, Sehwag: Waugh

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh believes that Rahul Dravid should open the batting with Virender Sehwag as his partner in the Sydney Test.

cricket Updated: Dec 31, 2007 16:58 IST

Rahul Dravid's poor show in Melbourne notwithstanding, India sshould open with the right-hander and send Virender Sehwag as his partner in the second Test, suggested former Australia captain Steve Waugh.

Waugh said Dravid should not be written off after just two failures and he would prove a perfect foil for Sehwag who could play his natural aggressive game.

"I would keep Dravid as an opener but I would bring in Sehwag to open the batting with him. If Sehwag comes in and plays his shots, his natural way will take pressure off Dravid who can work his way back into a bit of form," said Waugh.

"Every player is entitled to struggle once or twice in his career. He probably hasn't timed his poor form well but I certainly wouldn't write him off," he reasoned.

An admirer of the former India skipper, Waugh said he was baffled to see him relinquish captaincy after the UK tour.

"I was quite surprised when he did so because I knew he really valued and cherished that role. There may be one or two issues going on behind the scenes that people don't know about.

"I think he needs to just enjoy his cricket. He didn't really look like he enjoyed it. He has to take in the attitude that he doesn't have anything to prove to anyone. He has done everything you could possibly do in cricket, just go in with a clean slate and enjoy yourself," he said.

Waugh, meanwhile, did not seem too impressed with the other opener, Wasim Jaffer, and said he should pave way for Sehwag.

"Jaffer would have to be the guy that misses out. I think after his second innings dismissal when he got out on a no-ball and two balls later played a soft, wafty shot, that wasn't really a Test batsman's shot."

Waugh also seemed in awe of Sachin Tendulkar and said the Mumbaikar might prove the dangerman in the Sydney Test.

"He was very impressive in the first innings. He looked set for a big hundred. He has set himself for a very big series here. It will be his last in Australia...

"This is an important series for him. You could see the way he played in the first innings he was set for a big score. I think he is the danger man in Sydney for Australia."

At Melbourne, Ricky Ponting's team thumped India to record their straight 15th win and Waugh said he would not be surprised if the side went on to win even 30 Tests in a row.

"There is no reason why they can't. The way they are playing at the moment, they are dominating.

"It's a fantastic achievement. (I am) more than happy to see them get 16, then go on and get 20, 25, 30, 32 (wins)," he said.

Waugh also predicted a bright future for Brett Lee and said the speedster might end up among Australia's all-time best pacers.

"He really looks the complete bowler now. He has control, he knows when to up the ante, he can sense weakness in batsmen and he is just not bowling any four-balls."

"He struggled, had a few injuries, working his way back. But if he can back up this season over the next four or five years, then there is no doubt he can be up there."