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Searching for sweet spot

The Oz tour fast approaching, Sehwag is still looking to regain his destructive ways. Amol Karhadkar reports. Sehwag dismissals | Thunder Down Under

india Updated: Dec 04, 2011 01:58 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times

Whether he scores 13 or 133, Virender Sehwag generally tends to middle most of the balls. Rarely does he have an off day as far as meeting the ball on the meat of the bat is concerned.

But the second ODI against the West Indies was one such day when all he played turned to dust during India's five-wicket victory at Visakhapatnam on Friday. It won't be an overstatement to say that Sehwag has never looked so uncomfortable, at least while playing in an ODI at home, as he did during his 35-ball stint at the YSR Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.

Even two dropped catches and a 44-minute rain intervention could not help Sehwag get his timing right. And he was also in trouble against rising deliveries, with one from Ravi Rampaul hitting him on the helmet.

The dazzling batsman was the first to admit it wasn't his day. "I wasn't even connecting (the ball). Everything was going towards third-man. All the three boundaries I hit went over slips," said Sehwag. "It happens. Some days, you are trying to work hard and you get only edges."

Aussie challenge
Sehwag wasn't concerned about his form. "My batting is natural and I am not worried about myself because sometimes you start hitting from the first ball, sometimes you take time."

Although he was not concerned, the India dressing room could be a touch worried as the tough Australia tour and bouncy pitches loom large. After all, since the World Cup high, he has attracted more headlines for injuries.

He aggravated a right shoulder injury suffered in the World Cup by playing in the IPL and had to miss the West Indies tour following surgery in London.

After India made a disastrous start, Sehwag was rushed to England. But he had not fully recovered, and also suffered an ear infection, forcing him to return after failing in the last two Tests.

His record with the bat while leading the side will add to the management's fears that the vital cog in the team may leave for the crucial tour without runs under his belt. In the nine ODIs Sehwag has led India, he has scored just 198 runs, at a mediocre average of 22.

But being the self-assured and positive person that he is, Sehwag was hoping for a turnaround in Ahmedabad on Monday when India look to seal the series against West Indies.

"When I go to Ahmedabad, maybe it will be my day," he said. "It's a different ground, different atmosphere and different day. "I think I'll be fine."