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Akram backs Sehwag, Gambhir

Press Trust Of India
Oct 24, 2012 at 03:42pm IST

New Delhi: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram Wednesday questioned if the Indian team has the bench strength to replace opening duo of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag ahead of the England series at home.

"I doubt India have a Plan B to replace them. With Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman retiring, the middle order will be bereft of experience and under the circumstances, dislodging a time-tested combination at the top may not be very prudent," Akram said.

The former pace legend laid his faith on Gambhir and Sehwag and said home conditions will help the Delhi duo to find its lost touch.

Akram backs Sehwag, Gambhir to come good against England

The former Pakistan captain also said that India don't seem to have replacements for them as of now.

"Starting mid-November, India will have a long international calendar at home. They will play quality teams like England and Australia and hopefully, Pakistan will tour in the winter. I think this will give ample opportunity for men like Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir to regain their form," Akram told ESPN-STAR Sports.

"Both showed glimpses of their touch in their last Champions League games and it's senseless to question their ability as international batsmen.

"I don't think India will experiment much with their opening pair of Gambhir and Sehwag. On Indian wickets, they will exploit the home conditions well," he added.

The 46-year-old former Pakistani cricketer also feels Delhi Daredevils have a good chance of claiming the Champions League Twenty20 trophy in South Africa and it would also be a big opportunity for Sehwag to redeem himself.

"While the South Africans, with plenty of home-bred talents, will fancy their chance to win the tournament this time, Delhi will be a strong contender. Delhi have improved with every game and the fact that their top six batsmen are technically accomplished and truly international class will give them a lot of confidence," he said.

"Although this is T20 cricket, I still believe a batsman must be equipped to play on all conditions to excel. On this front, Delhi are blessed with men like David Warner, Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor.

"Plus, Sehwag looked good against Perth Scorchers. His 44-ball 52 will give him a lot of self-reliance. And, this is time for Sehwag to prove his critics wrong," Akram added.

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