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India vs Australia: With KL Rahul as opener, India go back to the pre-Sehwag era

India vs Australia: With KL Rahul as opener, India go back to the pre-Sehwag era

India’s been rather spoiled by Virender Sehwag. Our idea of an opener is one who batters the new ball, rather than blunts it with a dead bat owes much to the right-hander’s manic success at the top of the order. An average of 49.34 (it dropped towards the end and once was as high as 55) coupled with a strike-rate of 82.23 meant that India will forever be looking for someone who bats in exactly the same vein.

Sehwag is still around and just the other day slammed a century of 127 balls but his international days are far behind him. He last played a Test for India almost two years back — in Mar 2013. And while he was away, India thought it might have found a like-for-like replacement in Shikhar Dhawan.

Dhawan started off where Sehwag left off — with a brilliant 187 against Australia at Mohali. But his success at the top of the order hasn’t been as

And at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Rahul took us back to a pre-Sehwag era. He wasn’t about playing the big shots (though he showed later in his innings that he can do that as well), instead he was all about the dead bat. After 28 first-class matches, his average is 48.93 and his forte is just staying at the wicket for long periods.

Rahul Dravid from the commentary box said: “He isn’t like Sehwag or even Dhawan. He is more like Vijay.”

And for much of the first session he seemed very comfortable just keeping the Aussie bowlers out. In the first hour of play on Day three, he added 10 runs. In the second hour, he added just 9 more to reach his fifty — to show us exactly what Dravid was trying to convey.

enduring as Sehwag’s was. Just thirteen Test’s into his tenure, he finds himself replaced by a young 22-year-old from Karnataka, Lokesh Rahul.