There can’t be a replacement for Rahul Dravid. On second thoughts, it could be VVS Laxman. That’s exactly how the selectors decided to replace the injured skipper with Laxman.
With just two ODIs left in the series, the BCCI initially was not inclined to replenish the squad, but a call from chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar to BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah changed that.
“Earlier we thought we didn’t need a replacement, because he might not be able to reach on time for the fourth ODI at Port Elizabeth, But later it was decided that at least he can play the last ODI at Centutrion Park,” Shah said.
Explaining the decision, Vengsarkar said: “Since Laxman is certain for the Tests he will get a fair idea of the conditions in advance. Acclimatising to the conditions there seems to have been a major problem for most of our players when the ODI series began. So hopefully he will benefit with the extra time.”
This early flight to South Africa means a sudden change of scenario for Laxman, who just a few days back was in remote Maharashtra — Karar — playing the season’s opening Ranji Trophy game for Hyderabad. But that outing against Maharashtra won’t have wound up Laxman for the hard and bouncy tracks in South Africa.
The Hyderabad-Maharashtra game was a tame draw played on a lifeless track with no play possible on the second day due to bad light. The star batsman wasn’t his usual self as he managed a mere 31.