Virender Sehwag may be good, bad or ugly, but the Australian are clear about one thing, there is no phrase like 'being out of form' in Sehwag's book. When veteran Aussie pro Michael Hussey was asked if it was a good sign for his team to have an out-of-form Sehwag ahead of Friday's Super Eight clash against India at the Premadasa on Friday, the answer was simple and precise. "I would never say that Sehwag is out of form. He can miss out a couple of times, but we all know that every time he misses out, he is closer to the next big one. Normally, when he scores big runs, he scores them quickly... so I will never say Sehwag is out of form," he said, according to a report in The Times Of India.
In 30 ODIs against Australia, Sehwag has scored just 629 runs at an average of 21.68, with a highest score of 82. In T20 Internationals, his record is poorer. In five T20Is, the 33-year-old has managed 41 runs at an average of 8.20. It's amazing that the Aussies still fear which side of the bed Viru gets up from! Perhaps they are conscious of the fact that a desperate Sehwag with nothing to lose may just swing his bat without inhibition and connect, blowing the Aussies away in the process.
Meanwhile a report in Mail Today says that Virender Sehwag laid to rest any doubts over his fitness by virtually sprinting out to the nets at the P Sara Oval here on Wednesday, just 24 hours after having sat out an entire practice session.
“The Delhi swashbuckler had been hit on the thumb at this very ground nearly a week ago, and hadn't batted since then, having been rested for India's resounding victory over England in the final Group A match at the R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday,” says the report, adding that with that concern well and truly taken care of, India hit the nets for another gruelling three-hour session, where the emphasis was once again on playing the short stuff that the Australians are likely to dish up when the two teams face-off in their first Super Eights game on Friday.
“Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and even Suresh Raina could be seen honing their backfoot skills against net bowlers and teammates alike, though with the extra pace of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Shane Watson, it could be a different proposition altogether in a match situation,” added the report.
In a press-conference last week, Dhoni was specifically asked about his ideal bowling unit and he replied: “Three seamers and one spinner.” That yardstick will come under strain as Harbhajan Singh’s success against England and his exploits against the Australians in sub-continental conditions, makes him an automatic choice for Friday’s match against George Bailey’s men, says a report in The Hindu, adding that Dhoni’s selection quagmire will begin with that because R. Ashwin has done no harm to his credentials when Harbhajan was away.
“The skipper, who is comfortable with a lone spinner and a few part-timers wheeling away, has to take a call on whether he will play both the off-spinners and enfeeble his seam attack or get adventurous and go in with a 3-2 ratio of pace and spin while dropping the seventh batsman. After thumping England by 90 runs with a bowling combination that had the power of five though at the beginning it looked fragile, Dhoni asked: “Who do you drop to play the seventh batsman?” says the report.