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Time for Viru to match words with action

india Updated: Feb 22, 2012 23:43 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Although the BCCI bigwigs have played down any differences within the India cricket team Down Under, those who have read and seen it all will continue to be skeptical.

A day after Virender Sehwag made his differences against skipper MS Dhoni public, one felt perhaps the vice-captain should walk the talk.

During Tuesday's media interaction, while he was being grilled about Dhoni's "slow fielders" remarks, a local scribe asked Sehwag if he was surprised that Ricky Ponting was axed from Australia's ODI side. Sehwag said, "If you don't perform for six-seven games (in a row), get ready for the sack. So, I'm not surprised."

Introspection needed
Sehwag himself has continued to struggle and perhaps should ask contemplate whether he deserves a long rope for the rest of the CB Series?

When asked if he was "concerned" about his own form, Sehwag said, "Not really. I'm hitting the ball well but I'm not converting in a big way. When I used to get a good start like against Australia - 20 runs - I got out in a funny way. I tried to flick and got caught at point. I hope I leave a couple of balls early and then take on the bowlers."

Whenever Sehwag is questioned about playing a rash shot, invariably a cut, he retorts, "That is my scoring shot."

Sharp slide
It's been just two months since his record-breaking 219 in an ODI against West Indies. Since then, Sehwag just hasn't got his act together Down Under - be it in Tests, Twenty20s or ODIs. But when Sehwag fired on all cylinders in Indore in December, Dhoni wasn't a part of the squad.

In Australia, however, it appears the Delhi batsman is engrossed in playing mind games, and has not been able to put his mind to the task on hand.

Play it on the field
There is nothing wrong in a batsman of Sehwag's calibre defending himself and certain team mates. He has countered Dhoni's argument that youngsters were being preferred in the eleven because Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar are "safe but slow fielders".

But he needs to deliver on the field. If he does that on Sunday in the must-win game against Australia, it will justify his spot and, more importantly, keep India alive in the tri-series.