Don~~t mix captaincy and form together: Sehwag

Published: Sunday, April 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Guwahati:Stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag yesterday said captaincy will not be an obstacle to his performance.

''I have to perform irrespective of my job. Captaincy will not be a burden. I enjoy challenges and captaincy is a pleasant challenge,'' he told reporters in the pre-match press conference.

Sehwag has been named captain for the fifth and sixth ODIs giving regular captain Rahul Darvid a much deserved rest. However, Sehwag's batting has been a concern over the last few games as he has not been able to capitalize after having got starts.

Accepting that he was going through a lean patch, he said, ''I am aware of it. It's just a matter of one innings. In Faridabad and Kochi I started off well but faltered midway. I will have to convert on my starts.'' Even great players like Sachin Tendulkar go through lean phases, it's just a matter of time, he said.

Asked how he kept himself motivated since the series was already decided, Sehwag said, ''For us the last three matches are a new series. We have to win two of them at least.'' On the team prospect, the batsman from Delhi said, ''Yes, if the rain gods hold up we will make a few changes in the side.

Some of the players would be rested and some new ones will get their chance.'' He also made it clear that both Venugopal Rao and Robin Uthapa are in the reckoning for a spot. Some of the regular bowlers may be rested too, he hinted.

Asked if Mohammed Kaif's form was a concern, he said, ''Just because he has performed badly in the last few games doesn't mean we start questioning his position in the team. We all know he is a good player and besides he is an asset on the field. I am sure he will be back at his best soon.''

On his opening partner, he said, ''I loved to bat both with Sachin and Sourav. But, both are missing from the side now.'' Asked if heat was one of the factor behind the loss of the English team, he said, ''Heat can't be an excuse. Then we can start talking about Durhm.'' He also said that it was the presence of players like Pathan, Raina and Dhoni, which lent the solidity to the side. ''We are playing well as a team. That is the reason we are winning,'' he said.

Sehwag added that the preparations for next year's World Cup was on the right track and the team will peak its form just before the mega event.

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