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NEW DELHI: Shikhar Dhawan looks set to open the batting for India in place of Virender Sehwag in the third Test against Australia, reports have suggested.
The tourists’ preparations for the match in Mohali are in disarray both on and off the pitch.
The decision to drop Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson for disciplinary reasons means coach Mickey Arthur has only 12 players to choose from.
In addition, wicket-keeper Matthew Wade has an ankle injury with Brad Haddin called up as replacement if needed.
On the pitch, Australia trail 2-0 in the four-Test series after heavy defeats in the opening two matches, the second by an innings and 135 runs, and they will be looking to salvage a draw with some much-improved performances.
In comparison, India come into the Test on the back of two outstanding performances and with the luxury of being able to name a debutant in their line-up.
Dhawan looks set to open the batting in place of the experienced Sehwag, who has been dropped after a dip in form, and the 27-year-old is looking to grasp the opportunity with both hands.
“The confidence of the team is high but as our coach (Duncan Fletcher) told us, we have to start afresh,” he told reporters.
“We had a break after the second Test, so we want to go with the same attitude and same energy on the field as we did before the start of the series.
“I was very happy to hear the news (of my selection). I just want to grab this opportunity.
“Of course I was waiting for this day, but I don’t have any pressure right now. I am happy that whatever I dreamt of achieving, I have done that.”
Dhawan was reluctant to discuss Australia’s well-documented problems, but believes they can cope with the absence of Pattinson. AGENCIES