September 27, 2008

Australia in India 2008-09

Sehwag and Hayden will be most influential

George Binoy
Virender Sehwag leaves the Indian squad because of an ankle injury, Dambulla, August 19, 2008
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Virender Sehwag and Matthew Hayden will be the most influential batsman in the forthcoming Test series. If one man falters his team will be forced into its shell, and if one dazzles the bowlers may fall back in disarray, writes Peter Roebuck in the Hindu.

No man succeeds by accident. Always it is by design. Until he started belting them around, the Australians criticised his footwork. Indians were more worried about his brain. But Sehwag is neither a fool nor a clown. Rather he is the most fearless of batsmen, a trait that makes him vulnerable but also dangerous. Captains fret about opponents capable of upsetting the best laid plans.

"No team comes to India as well prepared as Australia does; prepared for the conditions, for the opposition and, more than anything else, to embrace the land they are going to," writes Harsha Bhogle on ESPNStar.

Australia will be delighted too at how India are being portrayed in their own media. Open the newspapers or switch to the news on television and you will see obituaries being written for Dravid and Tendulkar and Ganguly and Kumble and even for Laxman who averages 50.94 in the last twelve months with 917 runs in 13 games! It means the pressure will be on India's batsmen, as much to take on the Australian bowling as to prove themselves once again to their own countrymen! It is something that a cricketer has to live with but it is the response of these senior cricketers that will be as interesting.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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