ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
India v Australia, World Cup 2011, Ahmedabad
India delay decision on playing Sehwag
March 23, 2011
India captain MS Dhoni has said that a decision on Virender Sehwag's participation in Thursday's quarter-final game against Australia will be taken later this evening or on Thursday morning. Sehwag had missed India's final league game against West Indies because of a knee problem but batted in the nets on Tuesday.
"We are taking a call [on Sehwag] in the evening or maybe tomorrow morning before the start of the game," Dhoni said in Ahmedabad today. "Apart from that, all the others are fit."
Sehwag participated in the warm-up round of football during Wednesday's practice session, though he did not move much. Obviously he did not want to take chances with the knee. Later, he batted in the nets, albeit only against spinners for about 15 minutes. Once again he did not exert himself, refraining from bending his knee too much or stepping out as much as he would have liked. On Tuesday too he had batted for a regulated time in the nets, and if that is to be taken as an indicator, Sehwag is likely to return for the quarter-final.
Sehwag's knee has been bothering him since the start of the World Cup, but his current worry is the result of swelling caused by an allergic reaction to a pain-killing injection he took after the league game against South Africa in Nagpur. Gautam Gambhir opened the innings with Sachin Tendulkar against West Indies.
Sehwag's one-day average against Australia is 22.65 and it has been ten innings since he has made a limited-overs fifty against them. Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who has dismissed Sehwag the most number of times across all format, said on Tuesday that he would look to bowl at Sehwag's rib-cage. However, Dhoni did not seem too concerned with the strategy.
"It's really good to have Sehwag opening the innings for you, because deliveries will be short and to the body. He's the kind of batsmen, if you go slightly wrong, he can make the most of that kind of a bowling.
"He can play an aggressive game, change the course of a game in the first five overs and give your team the kind of momentum that is needed."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.