Reckless Sehwag gives India a headache

Published: Monday, May 14, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Chittagong:Daredevil batsman Virender Sehwag faced renewed calls for his ouster as India bid for a 3-0 sweep of the one-day series against Bangladesh here on Tuesday.

Sehwag's foolhardy approach to batting stood out in the first two games in Dhaka last week which India won to soften the pain of their World Cup defeat against Bangladesh in March.

The opening batsman hit 30 off 21 balls on Thursday when he holed out against seamer Syed Rasel after smashing four boundaries earlier in the same over.

On Saturday, Sehwag made 21 before mistiming a skier off Rasel two deliveries after lofting the same bowler for a six.

Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar said Sehwag was unlikely to win the selectors' favour in future if he continued to "commit cricketing suicide."

"How much sympathy he will retain after this performance remains to be seen, but the way he is getting out indicates that he is looking to commit cricketing suicide," said Gavaskar.

"Unless he learns to temper his game, he will find himself in the cricketing wilderness. If he is not willing to show some patience, then the skipper and the selectors will also lose patience with him."

Colonel tells Viru to curb his aggression: Meanwhile chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has asked struggling opening batsman Virender Sehwag to curb his attacking instincts and focus on consistency.

"He can't seem to control his exuberance. If he hits four fours in an over, he wants to hit a fifth one," Vengsarkar said on Monday.

"As one of the seniors in the team, he should be able to play longer innings." Sehwag failed to build on starts of 30 and 21 in the first two one-day internationals in Bangladesh last week which India won to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series.

"I'm disappointed with his performance," Vengsarkar told Hindustan Times newspaper.

"He has so much talent." But he's wasting it," he added.

Sehwag gets a final chance on Tuesday - weather permitting - to cement his place for the upcoming tour of England in July and justify captain Rahul Dravid's continued faith in his match-winning abilities.

The 28-year-old has already been axed for the two upcoming Tests against Bangladesh despite boasting an average of 49.46 from 52 Tests and being India's only triple centurion.

Sehwag, who crossed the 5,000-run milestone during Thursday's one-dayer, has managed just 440 runs in his last 20 games, including a 114 against minnows Bermuda in the World Cup.

Fellow opener Gautam Gambhir showed the way with a gutsy century in Saturday's game while the other contender, Robin Uthappa, may play his first match in the series on Tuesday.

The tourists could be frustrated by wet weather as they prepared to sweep the one-dayers ahead of the first Test starting in this port city on Friday.

Heavy overnight rain waterlogged the Ruhul Amin stadium and more rain has been forecast for the rest of the week, threatening not only Tuesday's match but also the first Test.

"We are keen to play because we have Bangladesh in our grip and don't want to ease off now," said India's tough-talking interim coach Ravi Shastri. "We are definitely looking at 3-0."

The tourists may field Uthappa and left-arm seamer Rudra Pratap Singh, who both missed the Dhaka matches, in place of Dinesh Mongia and Munaf Patel.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, will be without vice-captain Mohammad Ashraful who is suffering from viral fever. Allrounder Farhad Reza, 20, may get a look-in for his 13th one-dayer.

Outgoing coach Dav Whatmore said he was looking for an improved performance from the hosts ahead of the Test series.

"It will be nice to pull one back before the Tests," he said. "There is no doubt India have played the better cricket in the series, but it is also a fact that we have allowed them to do so."


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