'Fresh' Sehwag raring to go
Virender Sehwag has said he is fit and will play the final against Sri Lanka tomorrow in Dhaka. Sehwag sat out the last two games, leading to speculation that he was indisposed, but he confirmed today that he was just "rested" by the management.
"There was no problem," Sehwag said. "I was only being rested. I am feeling fresh after the break and looking forward to playing the final. It has given a chance to the youngsters and Dinesh Karthik appeared in good nick in both the games."
Sehwag also praised Virat Kohli for his impressive showing so far. Kohli has been the tournament's top-scorer so far, scoring 273 runs in four matches at 136.50, including one hundred and two fifties. "Kohli has grown in confidence from the Kolkata game and taken it forward from there," Sehwag said. "The important thing is he is making it count in the middle."
Dew has been a big factor in the tournament with all the games won by teams chasing. Sehwag said that dew will play a part but wasn't sure whether it would completely dictate proceedings. "Dew will be a factor. But you never know what's going to be a winning score. We saw what happened in Rajkot between the two teams. I would probably say a score of around of around 350-360 could be a winning score if we are to bat first."
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara too felt that dew won't determine the game. "It will be a factor without doubt but we have got to learn to live with it. We cannot give up just because the toss has been lost. I am sure both teams will fight hard tomorrow."
While six India players arrived for the optional practice session in the evening, Sri Lanka practiced in the morning at full strength. Chanaka Welegedara and Suranga Lakmal were seen practicing bowling yorkers and bouncers for an extended period of time. Sangakkara dismissed queries whether it was the match strategy, saying it was just the pre-match routine. Sri Lanka used the bouncer tactic successfully against Bangladesh in the first game but are yet to use it with any consistency against India in this tournament.
Sangakkara said he was aware of the Kohli threat and that his bowlers would need to operate with a set-field against him. "He [Kohli] has been in good touch and has been able to get runs consistently in the last few games but we cannot be bothered too much by that," Sangakkara said. "We just have to stick to our plans and bowl to him according to the field. It's important for us to get our game right and concentrate on what we are doing."
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo