Sehwag in the greens in search of lost touch

Published: Thursday, November 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Gurgaon:Clearly not in the pink of his batting health, Team India opener Virender Sehwag hit the golf greens hoping to resurrect the hand-eye co-ordination that makes him, despite a not-so-sound technique, one of the most destructive batsmen around.

Sehwag, who took to the game some six months back, attended a golf clinic at the DLF Links here today and was seen picking up tricks of the trades from former cricket captain Kapil Dev.

''There are lot in common between cricket and golf, like the hand-eye co-ordination. And it helps you concentrate. In fact I find you need a higher concentration level here than in cricket. There, you can afford to relax at the non-striker's end. But in golf, you need unwavering concentration while playing each and every shot,'' Sehwag explained.

''Besides, I enjoyed it for there are not scores of people on your heels,'' he added.

Asked what he picked up from Kapil, Sehwag said, ''He gave me a few tips on some basics of the game - like body balancing and hand position and that was of great help.'' Kapil too felt, golf can help a cricketer regain focus.

''While playing cricket, you tend to lose focus at times. Golf can bring you back the same focus. Here, you hit a stationary ball with a world of time at your disposal.

''I didn't exactly teach Sehwag, for I don't qualify as an instructor. I just shared some basic things with him,'' Kapil added.

Meanwhile, Sehwag felt that abundance of talent can make India a golf powerhouse.

''I think golf has a great future in the country. There is no dearth of talent and I think they can follow in the path of (Volvo Masters winner) Jeev Milkha Singh and bring in more laurels for the country,'' he elaborated.

The batsman, however, refused to entertain cricket queries.

Kapil asks Sehwag to introspect: After playing six-seven years at the highest level, Virender Sehwag has nothing to prove to anyone. But at a time when runs are not exactly flowing from his blade, introspection won't be a bad idea, felt former captain Kapil Dev.

''He has been playing at this level for the last six-seven years and I don't think Sehwag has anything to prove to anyone. What he needs is probably introspection.

''He needs to ask and find out himself what he needs to do. He is a talented player and like any other cricketer, he is going through a lean phase. He has to come out of this phase,'' Kapil said, barely feet away from where Sehwag was honing his putting skills at the course.

Notwithstanding his half century in the Champions Trophy match against Australia, Sehwag is clearly not in his elements and Kapil said, ''If he thinks any former player can help him, he should not hesitate to approach.''

The former all-rounder also refused to admit that Sehwag was completely outshone by West Indies opener Chris Gayle whose swashbuckling knocks, apart from his more-than-handy spin bowling, emerged as Man of the Tournament in the Champions Trophy. ''Every player has his strength and it's unfair to compare the two,'' he said.

Kapil admitted Team India has failed to live upto the expectations but still expressed hopes that they would do well in South Africa even though that has not been a happy hunting ground for India.

''We didn't do too well there in the past and the current team also has had a bad run. They lost the ODI series in the West Indies, did badly in the DLF Cup (in Malaysia) and in the Champions Trophy as well. So it's easy to be pessimistic but I still expect them to do well,'' he explained.

''Bigger the challenge, bigger the player. I don't like criticism at the hour of crisis and still expect them to do well,'' he added.


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