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December 31, 2006
Dilip Vengsarkar, the chairman of selectors, has expressed concern over the form of India's openers - Virender Sehwag and Wasim Jaffer. The two haven't partnered for more than 20 runs in the two Tests against South Africa. Some changes are expected in the team line-up ahead of the final Test at Cape Town beginning on January 2. The series is tied at 1-1.
In the two Tests Sehwag has scored just 45 runs at 11.25 and sits second from the bottom, just above Anil Kumble, in India's batting averages for the series. "He [Sehwag] obviously has a lot of ability," Vengsarkar told The Hindu. "But what has been worrying me is that he has not appeared convincing at the crease. He looks like he is going to get out in a matter of minutes."
Vengsarkar added that Sehwag found it tough to come out of a bad patch when the going wasn't good. "He has his own technique, his own footwork. He is a hand-eye coordination player. His basics are not strong." But he maintained that Sehwag was in the scheme of things for the World Cup.
In the tour match against Rest of South Africa at Potchefstroom both Sehwag and Jaffer were out for duck in the first innings. Jaffer got out for a duck again in the second innings and Sehwag managed only 10 before being trapped leg before by Titans fast bowler Alfonso Thomas.
Jaffer has fallen to Makhaya Ntini, Man of the Match at Durban with 8 for 89 , thrice in two Tests. In the second innings at Durban Jaffer gave his wicket away when he pulled a short ball from Ntini, pitched outside offstump, to Andre Nel at mid-on. Jaffer had batted 73 balls for his 26 in the first innings and had looked good in the second innings when he played that terrible shot.
Vengsarkar was unhappy with Jaffer's mode of dismissal at a time when the team needed him to consolidate their position. "He is looking good but he has to contribute to the team's cause," he said. "He has a sound technique but what is the use if he gets out after settling in."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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