Sehwag set to give India flying starts

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Published: Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 10:40 [IST]
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Sehwag set to give India flying starts

Immaculate hand-eye coordination and a fearless approach to batting cover up Indian opener Virender Sehwag's shortcoming at the crease.

His footwork may be wanting, but among his wide repertoire of shots, the upper-cut stands out as a most lucrative stroke. However, the fact that he fancies his chances against almost every bowler has on occasion spelt his downfall.

India, though, will rely on the 32-year-old opener, who is back in action after a shoulder injury, at the World Cup which starts this month.

"He is so devastating," West Indies great Viv Richards, who one could say initiated the school of power-hitting, said of Sehwag during a recent visit to Delhi. "India need him badly. I admire him. This guy is totally fearless when it comes to batsman-ship."

Sehwag once said that, besides Australian paceman Glenn McGrath and Sri Lanka's spearhead Muttiah Muralitharan, he had not come across a bowler whom he could not hit for a boundary at will.

This comment could be interpreted as bragging, but so aggressive and effective has Sehwag proven to be, that such doesn't come across as a false sense of bravado.

Segwag's modest one-day average of 34.64 may be way lower than his Test average of 53.43, but the batsman-friendly pitches of the sub-continent provide the perfect opportunity for Sehwag to correct that anomoly.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows only too well just how crucial the opener is to the team's success. A lot will depend on the kind of start Sehwag can give to his team, partnering Sachin Tendulkar at the top.

With a strike rate of 103.27, Sehwag garners his runs at a much quicker pace than most other batsmen and that might be all India needs to unsettle the rhythm of the opposition, throw the pressure back on them, and put India ahead.

A genuine match-winner with a tendency for reaching batting landmarks with a big hit, Sehwag is also quite penetrative with his gentle off-spinners, as his 92 scalps from 228 ODIs would attest to.

The Nawab of Najafgarh may well prove the trump card for India in the upcoming mega-event and once he takes guard, will be set to intimidate any opposition.

Oneindia Cricket

Read more about: world cup 2011, virender sehwag
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