As the series hero Murali Vijay walks out with a new partner to open the Indian innings at Feroz Shah Kota Stadium in the fourth and final Test, the familiar sight of local heroes Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir would be missing. But it could have provided a perfect debut platform at his home ground for another opener Shikhar Dhawan, the Mohali hero.
But bad luck befell on Dhawan and then Gambhir. Dhawan, who with his record-breaking knock of 187 made history at Mohali, injured his hand while fielding in the Australian second innings. He was ruled out for six weeks and Gambhir and Suresh Raina were named as the replacements for the Delhi Test. But three days before the start of the Test, Gambhir was diagnosed with jaundice, thus ruling him out of the Test. Sehwag has been since dropped for poor form as he has had scores 19, 2, 6 after the Hyderabad Test.
But it will be Vijay walking out with Ajinkya Rahane or Cheteshwar Pujara. Rahane has been warming the benches for a long time. But the question is, will Rahane, who started his career as an opener, open the innings since he has been dubbed a middle order batsman by Sandeep Patil? Vijay, Pujara (at number three) and Dhawan have provided the solidity at the top order.