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Sehwag being preserved: Dravid

Skipper Rahul Dravid said the aim behind resting the out-of-form opener was to ensure that he stayed away from pressure and sorted out his batting first.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 15:10 IST

Indian skipper Rahul Dravid has said the aim behind resting key player Virender Sehwag was to ensure he stayed away from pressure and sorted out his batting before jumping into the cauldron of international cricket.

"Sehwag has played a lot of cricket. He is not in the best of forms. Sometimes you need a mental and physical break, to stay away from the heat and allow yourself to relax," Dravid said after India lost the first one-dayer against Pakistan by six wickets here last night.

"He is a critical player in the team and we need him to get back into form," the captain added.

Asked whether Sehwag would be included for the second match, Dravid said, "We will see. It is obviously an option. We want to pick the best side for the game."

Dravid said it had been tough to bat early on at the virgin Zayed Stadium track but defended his decision to bat first.

"It was tough initially but it did not ease up too much later on either. It was a fresh wicket and from what we had heard getting runs first was the right thing to do on this track. It was a right decision but yes we should have batted a little bit better.

"It would have been interesting to see how they chased if we had some 30 odd runs more up on the board. A total of 230 would have been competitive."

The Banglore batsman defended the performance of the bowlers, who gave away as many as 23 extras, saying they tried their best in the situation.

"Definitely we needed to take more wickets while defending a modest score but again I would rather say that we should have batted better to give a cushion of a competitive score to the bowlers.

"We needed someone to carry through till the end. Venugopal batted well. But a couple of run-outs did not help.

"As far as extras are concerned, there were some leg byes but if you are trying to bowl wicket to wicket, you will stray down the leg side sometimes. I think they bowled quite well."

Dravid did not think that the players were affected by the long break between the innings. "We are here for a reason, it is a great event for a great cause."

On whether Irfan Pathan ought to be given some rest given his workload, he said, "we are monitoring everyone, Irfan as well. We are aware of his workload and on Dhoni as well. We felt Irfan had a week off recently and wanted to play on the big stage.

"He is a young kid and wants to keep playing, it is very difficult at times to tell him... But I think he should be able to get through this tournament alright."