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Sehwag needs to motivate Team India: Akram

Published: Monday, January 23, 2012, 18:00 [IST]
 
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Sehwag needs to motivate India: Akram

Adelaide, Jan 23: Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram feels stand-in captain Virender Sehwag has looked "nonchalant" so far and needs to change his attitude to motivate the demoralised Indian Team in the fourth and final Test against Australian starting from Tuesday.

With Mahendra Singh Dhoni banned for a match, captaincy baton has been handed over to Sehwag and Akram feels the dashing opener now should be more accountable and help lift team's demeanour here.

"Hope Sehwag will inject some life in the team," Akram said.

"I know he hasn't done much in the series so far, but I am expecting to see a different Sehwag at Adelaide. In the three Tests so far, he has simply stood in the slip cordon and looked very nonchalant. This attitude could change."

"As a captain, Sehwag has to be the great motivator that India have missed in the series so far. Sehwag surely has to score but he has to inspire the youngsters at the same time," Akram said of the opener, who is among the top Indian run-getters in Adelaide.

Sehwag, who scored 308 in two matches at an average of 77.00 in Adelaide, has captained India in three previous Tests, for two victories and a draw.

Asked if Sehwag should replace Dhoni as Test captain if he succeeds at Adelaide, Akram said: "Look, Dhoni is only 30 and is the only real captaincy material that I can see in India now. Sehwag is a second choice, but only just."

India has so far drawn a blank in the four-match series but Akram feels the visitors need to look ahead and forget the 3-0 Test drubbing.

"I would look forward to the ODIs now and prepare accordingly. It doesn't mean playing slam-bang cricket, but spending quality time in the middle and Adelaide should provide the right platform," Akram said.

The 45-year-old also feels Rohit Sharma should be drafted in the side for the fourth Test in place of VVS Laxman, who has been awfully out of form.

"What news of the Indian team? Are they still going to play VVS Laxman?" Akram asked almost certain the veteran Indian middle-order batsman is going to warm the bench and provide a much-needed opportunity to Rohit Sharma.

"The Indian team management has to show foresight. Let's not go with past records. I believe Laxman has scored a century (148 in 2003-04 series) and has a good record at the Adelaide Oval, but this is not the time for personal goals," reminded Akram.

The legendary seam bowler feels India shouldn't go for two spinners and instead opt for a medium pacer in the final Test starting tomorrow.

"Don't get carried away by Lyon's selection. If the Australians have included him, it is just to add variety, nothing else. The Adelaide wicket is the closest to that of a sub-continental track, but if the Indians are planning to go in two spinners, it could be counter-productive," warned Akram.

"I will opt for a medium-pacer instead."

PTI

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