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March 19, 2007
Rahul Dravid, the Indian captain, was delighted with Virender Sehwag's return to form against Bermuda and hopes for more match-winning knocks from him in the tournament. Under pressure to justify his place in the team, Sehwag blasted 114 off 87 balls in India's massive total of 413 on the way to a 257-run victory.
Dravid's elation was understandable after facing criticism for backing Sehwag despite his inconsistent returns. Sehwag's frailties at the top of the order were exposed against Bangladesh on Saturday, when he fell for just two, but he made his chance count against Bermuda, smashing 17 fours and three sixes and partnering Sourav Ganguly in a stand of 202 for the third wicket.
"The effort he has put in is fantastic," Dravid told reporters. "All credit to him. We expect a lot from him. He has been picked to score more than one hundred for us."
Sehwag was happy to justify the faith shown in him by the team management. "I had the confidence," Sehwag said. "I knew the captain, coach and selectors were backing me and I had to deliver. I was waiting for just one innings. Thankfully, it has come at the right time."
With India yet to book a spot in the Super Eights, the final group match against Sri Lanka on Friday is crucial. Dravid is aware a victory by a handsome margin will be required, with the net run-rate likely to come into play. India are ahead of Bangladesh on the points table on run-rate and the result of Wednesday's clash between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will have a bearing on India's future in the tournament.
"The real challenge is ahead of us," Dravid said. "We had two must-win matches, but have won just one. The guys know what they have to do. What is in our control is to go and try to win the next game and win it as well as possible."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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