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Sehwag's dismissals a cause for concern

Virender Sehwag's regular dismissals in 30s and 40s has started causing concern to the team management.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2003 17:27 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Virender Sehwag's regular dismissals in 30s and 40s has started causing concern to the team management which has waited for long for the dashing opener to justify his immense potential by being more consistent.

Sehwag has given blazing starts to the innings with his characteristic flamboyance but has often thrown away his wicket after getting his eye in, squandering the good work.

Sehwag's persistant failures to build on his innings has prompted captain Sourav Ganguly to express his displeasure in public during the match against South Africa after he got out for 37 but it did not seem to have any effect as the stand-in vice-captain again got out to a rash shot for 43 in the next match against Bangladesh.

"He has a lot of talent but is not utilising his potential to the full. He is capable of doing much better," Ganguly said, gently pulling up the gifted batsman who is one of the most powerful hitters of the ball in contemporary cricket.

Sehwag has one half-century in the three matches in the ongoing TVS cup triangular series, his 63 coming against Bangladesh in the opening match of the tournament.

The 24-year-old Sehwag realises that he is wasting the good starts that he gets and is keen to break the trend.

"It is not that I am not trying to translate the starts into big scores. I go and play my natural game. It is not that I get out because of a lapse of concentration," Sehwag said.

"Every batsman want to get the big scores, I have been trying to do that but somehow it has not always happened," he said.

The three-figure mark has eluded Sehwag since the New Zealand tour late last year where he struck two centuries in extremely difficult batting conditions while most of his other colleagues failed miserably.

Sehwag did not have a particularly memorable World Cup, managing to score just two half-centuries in 11 matches and invariably got out after having occupied the crease for some time.

The Delhi batsman had himself indicated before embarking on this tour that vice-captaincy would make him play more responsibly but that has not been the case so far.

With Sachin Tendulkar opening the innings in the World Cup, Sehwag was pushed to the middle order in the early stages of the World Cup but was given back the opening slot as it was felt that his explosive batting alongwith Tendulkar will help the team to get flying starts.

Sehwag's failures have not yet taken alarming proportions and the team management does not want to put too much pressure on him at the moment, hoping that the captain's gentle rebuff will do the trick.

They are also aware that making Sehwag play more sensibly could mean curbing his natural strokeplay which would surely not be good for Indian cricket. Sehwag needs to play with his natural flair and yet get the big scores more often.

Sehwag has a one-day aggregate of 2179 runs in 70 matches (68 innings) for an average of 35.14, which does not justify his strokemaking potential to a large extent. The fact that he has just five hundreds underlines this problem.

After the intitial high and lows since making his debut, the dashing batsman made a remarkable comeback to the Indian team during the Australian tour of India in 2000-01.

In the first one-dayer at Bangalore, Sehwag helped himself to a quick half-century and claimed three crucial wickets to play a leading role in India's victory.

Promoted to open the batting in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag hammered a 70-ball ton against the hapless Kiwis in a tri-series played in Sri Lanka. That innings made his reputation and secured his place in the Indian one-day team and now as a senior, he has to learn to take the batting responsibility.

First Published: Apr 17, 2003 17:27 IST