Dhoni should persist with the experience of Laxman
I know, back home in India, there is talk about VVS Laxman's form and his usefulness to this current Indian team. My vote, however, will go to the stylish middle-order batsman. He is a class act and has tormented the Australian bowlers many a time. Mark Waugh writes.Updated: Jan 13, 2012 00:48 IST
Australia have got form on their side and they do look the favourites ahead of the Perth Test. Skipper Michael Clarke has been brilliant so far and just needs to continue what he has done in the first two Tests. The support for the pacers at the WACA should further add to the Australian team's advantage, so India have a daunting task.
However, the last time around, the Indians pulled it off at Perth and that should motivate them. I remember the batting of Rahul Dravid and bowling of Ishant Sharma that helped India clinch the Test in 2008. I'm sure, India would be hoping for a repeat.
I know, back home in India, there is talk about VVS Laxman's form and his usefulness to this current Indian team. My vote, however, will go to the stylish middle-order batsman. He is a class act and has tormented the Australian bowlers many a time. He deserves an extended run, and all the talk of resting him to make way for a youngster should be put to rest.
On a green and bouncy WACA pitch, you need experience and Laxman brings that to the table. He has, anyway, shown that he is back in the business by scoring a fine fifty in the second innings of the Sydney Test and my advice to Dhoni is to persist with him.
Dravid surprised me
More than Laxman, I'm surprised by the performance of Dravid. He has looked out of sorts and the way he got bowled three out of four innings speaks of lack of confidence. He needs to make some technical adjustments. Tendulkar's form is good news for the team. He has looked brilliant and he has some great memories of this ground.
Seniors to chip in
India will need some solid contributions from their seniors - Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag - to make a match out of the Test and stay alive in the series. Zaheer will be playing at the WACA for the first time and it would be interesting to see how he copes with the bounce and pace. He can be a wily customer and Australia will be well advised to watch out for him.
I've read reports of a split in the Indian team and hope they are not true. Down 0-2, the last thing India need is a rift between the captain and the vice-captain.
(The writer is a former Australia Test cricketer)
First Published: Jan 13, 2012 00:45 IST