New Delhi:Opening batsman Virender Sehwag's selection in the 16-member Indian team for the tour to Australia might have raised some eyebrows but the selectors have clearly preferred to go by the batsman's past record.
Sehwag, who is struggling for form, was one of the most successful batsman Down Under on the 2003-04 tour. His brilliant 195 in the losing cause in the third Test in Melbourne speaks highly about his batting. Statistically, he scored 464 runs in the series at an average of 58.
It was not only Sehwag, all the seniors performed well. Captain, Sourav Ganguly, set the tone with his 144 to draw the first Test at the bouncy Gabba.
Ganguly, despite his limitations batting on bouncy tracks, had a decent series, tallying 461 runs in the four Tests at an average of 38.42.
In the second Test at the Adelaide Oval, riding on a brilliant 233 by Rahul Dravid the visitors took a 1-0 lead to stun Australia. He was also the highest run getter for the Indians in the series with 619 runs at an astounding average of 123.
Sachin Tenulkar was at his classy best with a brilliant 241 in the fourth and the final Test, which soured Steve Waugh's farewell party.
Tendulkar's double century and V V S Laxman 178 pulverised India to a mammoth 708 in the first innings. Tendulkar aggregated 383 runs at with an average of 76.60.
Australia has always been a happy hunting ground for Laxman and invariably rescued India from precarious situations with admirable batting.
It began with his first tour to Australia in 1999-2000 when he announced his arrival on the big stage with a valiant 167 as an opener.
On the last tour, Laxman played stellar knocks with two centuries and was the second highest run-getter for India behind Dravid with 494 runs at an average of 82.33.
The onus will again be on these senior players to carry India to a series win for the first time. Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman will all be on their last tour Down Under and they would like to stand up and deliver.