Chance for youngsters to make a mark: Sehwag

Published: Thursday, December 24, 2009, 10:32 [IST]
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'Chance for youngsters to make a mark'

Kolkata: Stand-in captain Virender Sehwag urged the youngsters in the team to rise up to the occasion and prove themselves in the final two matches of the India-Sri Lanka ODI series.

India will miss the services two key players -- banned captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and injured Yuvraj Singh -- in the crucial fourth one-dayer against Sri Lanka, where a win would seal the series for the hosts

"When the series is going on the team has to play the matches, irrespective of who is in or out. Definitely, we will miss their services but we have to look at our other options."

"The youngsters are getting an opportunity to play for their country and if they do well and make a mark its good for the team as well. The bench strength will get stronger and stronger", Sehwag said.

"With 2011 World Cup coming up, if players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma get opportunity to play and get runs, our bench strength improves," he said.

He lavished praise on Kohli and said, "He is truly a talented player. He had played very well in the Champions Trophy. Hopefully he will become a star of the future. We are all looking forward to him."

India are leading the series 2-1 but they have a record of squandering advantageous positions. However, Sehwag said this time they are determined to not let the lead slip out of their hands.

"Yes, Australia won the series after we took a 2-1 lead (in our last series). But we are not going to give up our games easily. We will fight till the end," Sehwag said.

When asked about the new experience as captain, Sehwag said, "I am enjoying captaincy very much. It is not putting pressure on me. I am captain or not captain, my role is to get runs and give suggestions. Now when I am captain, I look for my teammates inputs and implement them."

Sehwag said they would like to chase a target on the Eden wicket and their team strategy would be similar to that of Cuttack when Ashish Nehra came as a second change and spinners did the damage

"If we win the toss, we will field first. I am not worried about the seaming or swinging conditions here. Nehra bowled well in Cuttack and his experience worked as a second-change bowler."

"We will use him in a similar way. And hopefully, our spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh would continue doing well", he said.


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