The Sandeep-Patil led national selectors have thrown a rope to Virender Sehwag by including him in the four-day squad that will take on West Indies A later this month, and Sehwag wants to make the most of it to boost his chances of a return to the Test squad.
The veteran India opener, reported MiD DAY, has intimated the BCCI about his preference to erase memories of his recent flop show, which forced the selectors to drop him from the Test squad after the Hyderabad Test against Australia last year.
But what's interesting is that the selectors have picked him as an opener for India A, which leaves it to the team management to decide if they want to slide him down to the middle order. Cheteshwar Pujara has been asked to captain the four-day squad that also includes Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan, who are also trying to press claim for a recall to the senior squad.
Media reports suggest the veteran batsman has intimated the BCCI that he wants to bat in the middle order to enhance his chances of a Test return.
Sehwag scored just 27 runs in his last two Tests, which were against Australia at home. He, along with Gautam Gambhir, was dropped after those failures - with the selectors deciding to put their faith in young Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay, who have been performing exceptionally well since then. That has forced Sehwag to re-think his future as an opener.
But for Sehwag, who turns 35 next month, life won't be easy in the middle order - especially after opening for the majority of his 104 Tests. However, what boost the Delhi batsman's chances to prove himself in the middle order is the inconsistency shown by Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma in the longer version, though Sharma has shown signs of maturing ever since being asked to open in the limited-overs games.
Sanjay Manjrekar, former India opener and now an accomplished commentator, has urged the BCCI to grant Sehwag his wish. Writing in his column on Cricinfo, Manjrekar said, "It's a desire that he [Sehwag] seems to have held forever as a Test batsman. I have held the view that for a natural middle-order batsman, he served India amazingly well as an opener when they desperately needed one, so how about granting him that wish before his career finishes."