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‘Symmo’s absence might ease worries’

Captain or not, Virender Sehwag has to be at the top of his game as India takes on Australia in October. Sahil Sharma tells more. Read on...

cricket Updated: Sep 13, 2008 00:39 IST
Sahil Sharma

With Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh grabbing all the headlines for winning the ICC awards, it has almost slipped unnoticed that the only Indian to be part of the ICC Test XI is Virender Sehwag.

The Delhi opener, who has been arguably India's best bat in recent times, is not gunning for the captaincy, but wants to keep contributing as a senior member of the squad.

"It doesn't matter who the captain is. I will continue to give suggestions and make my contributions. In Perth I suggested to continue with Ishant Sharma and it paid dividends as he dismissed Ricky Ponting," said Sehwag, at a promotional event in Delhi.

Some former players have also suggested that Sehwag be handed the Test captaincy, and when asked about this Sehwag casually replied, "It's their opinion".

Captain or not, Sehwag has to be at the top of his game as India takes on Australia in October. With the omission of Andrew Symonds now confirmed, and Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden recovering from injuries, India can claim to have the upper hand.

“They are the best team in the world and it will always be a challenge facing them. It is still a month away, giving both Ponting and Hayden enough time to recover. It is a pity that a good player like Symonds is not coming, but we won't mind it. It does give us something less to worry about”, Sehwag said.

After the retirement of both Shane Warne and Stuart Macgill, Australia is still searching for a worthy replacement in the spin department. “The lack of a quality spinner will affect them and gives us an extra edge”.

Sehwag was forced to return home just at the start of the ODI series in Sri Lanka with an ankle injury ruling him out. "My ankle has completely healed up and I am fit to play," he clarified.

Sehwag also had words of support for Sourav Ganguly, who was not picked in the Rest of India team for the Irani Trophy.
"Every player goes through a bad patch, even I was dropped for a year, but I managed to come back and strike form. Even
Ganguly will do that," Sehwag said.

The form of both Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid has also come into question as both failed to impress in recent series.

"It should not be forgotten that, they have been playing for over a decade and have won India innumerable matches. Their contribution can never be forgotten", he added.

The Indian team is also witnessing consistent addition of Delhi players with Virat Kohli being the most recent one. "You will soon see many more Delhi players play at the national level", Sehwag said.