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Sehwag is in the catch-up mode

Every now and then, Virender Sehwag plays an innings, which you are inclined to term as one of the greatest ever. His recent one-day success has been most pleasing, for this is a format in which he has often faltered, writes Ravi Shastri.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2010 23:31 IST

Virender Sehwag is an all-time great. I don’t think anyone has an issue with that. How could you be so audacious and yet be so consistent?

Every now and then, he plays an innings, which you are inclined to term as one of the greatest ever. His recent one-day success has been most pleasing, for this is a format in which he has often faltered. It seems Viru is in a catch-up mode. A direct contrast to Viru’s form has been his fellow batsmen. Be it his partner or the middle order, everyone else has been a letdown.

There is no point blaming it on the lights, pitch or conditions. After all, they have been in Dambulla, more or less, for the last two months. They ought to have adapted by now.

Post-match, Viru felt the score on the board wasn’t enough. However, the India medium-pacers worked up a steam in tandem. It’s not often you see four of them put on the park. India need to be similarly creative on three issues nagging the team — opening and number three slots.

Dinesh Karthik needs a break to sort himself out. Suresh Raina ought to walk out at number three and not Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma.

At the moment, India look shaky at the top; jittery in the middle and absolutely clueless with the tail. But for Sehwag and MS Dhoni, the batsman would have evoked similar derision on Wednesday. They need a jolt — and no further soft cushioning. It will be some time before India and Sri Lanka clash again. Familiarity has indeed bred some contempt.

The final can afford the two sides a few brownie points. India have often won the big battles and even with all these injuries were able to draw the Test series. They have also won three one-day titles in succession in Sri Lanka. In contrast, Sri Lanka have rarely beaten India twice in succession in one-dayers. India would hope for this script to hold good on Saturday.

Sri Lanka, on their part, will look to offer a sting in the tail. The toss in this vital pressure game could be crucial.

TCM