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'Pathan bigger worry than Sehwag'

india Updated: Feb 14, 2007 20:58 IST
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Describing Irfan Pathan as a bigger worry for India in the World Cup than Virender Sehwag, former cricketers Ravi Shastri and Wasim Akram said the Baroda paceman should be allowed to open the bowling to help him regain his rhythm quickly.

"Irfan is a bigger worry than Sehwag for the team at the moment. He is great with the bat and is a good fielder but he has still not got back his rhythm and I think he should open the bowling," Shastri said.

Akram also said Irfan bowled his best with the new ball.

"He swings the ball most when the ball is new. Pathan is rendered ineffective with the old ball as he is unable to generate enough movement, which is his main strength," he said in ESPN Star Sport's 'Sportcentre' programme.

Shastri said though Sehwag has been going through a bad patch, he was a potential match-winner and was best when playing at the top.

"He will also play a vital role in the middle order as he can help accelerate in the later stage of the game," he said.

Akram also emphasised the need for Sehwag to open the batting.

"You are wasting him in the middle order," said Akram, the veteran of five world cup tournaments."

The duo believed a subcontinent team could win the World Cup. "India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka will win this world cup," said Akram.

"The gap between Australia and other teams is much closer than it has been in the past. They are beatable," said Shastri.

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