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Rested Sehwag vows to attack Sri Lanka

Press Trust Of India
Feb 07, 2012 at 01:29pm IST

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Perth: Mostly a failure this Australian summer, dashing Indian opener Virender Sehwag will return to the team for Wednesday's match against Sri Lanka after being 'rested' from the opening ODI and has vowed to be his usual attacking self in the ongoing tri-series here.

Sehwag was 'rested' from the opening ODI against Australia which India lost by 65 runs in Melbourne on Sunday.

"I tried to play a little differently in Perth because the ball was doing something. It didn't work so I went back to my own style. I will do so in ODIs as there are only 50 overs and you want to give a good start to the team," Sehwag, who smashed 219 runs in his last one-day innings against the West Indies in Indore last year, said.

Rested Sehwag vows to attack Sri Lanka

The Indian opener was rested for the opening match of the tri-series against Australia.

"My style of playing is to give little respect to new ball and then go after the bowling, depending on who's bowling. If someone is bowling well, you have got to give him respect," he added.

In the third Test in Perth, Sehwag made 0 and 10 in two innings, which was largely symbolic of the miserable summer the Indian opener has had in Australia in the last few weeks.

Sehwag was rested for the first ODI against Australia at MCG on Sunday but returns to the fold - either at the expense of Sachin Tendulkar or Gautam Gambhir, most likely the latter.

"They will decide on it tomorrow. We want to give break to the top three batsmen, either Gautam (Gambhir) or Tendulkar will take a break and may be I can play," he said.

Sehwag said the rotation in the top order was largely intended to give opportunity to the youngsters to get used to the conditions where the next World Cup will be staged in 2015. It is also important for tired minds and bodies to get rest from time to time, he reasoned.

"The break is good. You are playing Tests, then Twenty20s and now ODIs. The body can be fatigued and a mental break is also good. So top three can get a break and all the youngsters can play and they need to because they have just arrived."

"We want to give chance to youngsters. The next World Cup is here. All the youngsters this way can play and get used to the conditions here," Sehwag said.

"It's important; the youngsters have to play a lot more ODIs, especially when the World Cup comes, they should have played 70-80 ODIs. That's our aim, to give more chances to youngsters."

Another Indian strategy, visible thus far in shorter formats of the game, is to play three spinners in the playing eleven though it could boomerang on the bouncy WACA pitch.

"We are clear about one thing from Day One - we would play with two spinners if the pitch is dry. May be Perth is different; we can play three or even four fast bowlers here," he said.

This Indian strategy of playing spinners is different from the last World Cup where India won the title by playing three seamers and a spinner.

"It's a strategy which the captain and coach decided, especially in big grounds such as the MCG, where the wicket was dry and the ball was stopping and coming on to the bat. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

"In India it's difficult for spinners to bowl in powerplays. But then (Ravichandran) Ashwin and Harbhajan (Singh) played together against Australia in the quarter-finals."

Wednesday's match could see the return of Zaheer Khan who hasn't played either in two Twenty20s or the first ODI in MCG.

Zaheer bowled in the nets at WACA on Wednesday and Sehwag said he is available for selection.

India is up against a team whom they beat to claim the 2011 World Cup last year. Sri Lanka have introduced quite a few youngsters in their squad who are beginning to do well for them.

"I haven't seen them. In a way it's good when you are playing against youth. You can put more pressure on youth. We can understand when our youth are under pressure when they go out to bat, so we could also put Sri Lankan youth under pressure," Sehwag said.

"But in one-day cricket anyone can beat anyone. You could lose to Bangladesh. You have to play well for over 100 overs and only then you can win in ODIs.

"Especially in this triangular series, any team can beat any one where all the three teams are good. If you play well on that day, you could beat any side. We ourselves did so a couple of times last time, during the VB series."

India's fielding was found wanting in the last ODI against Australia but Sehwag said it was one of those things.

"We are working hard on fielding. Somedays you can take good catches and on other days you can drop easy ones. The young boys have great energy and hopefully we would field well also tomorrow."

The Indian opener said he loved playing one-dayers, along with Test matches.

"I am a fan of Test and one-day cricket. Twenty20 obviously is taking roots but for me Tests and 50-over cricket is top cricket. You can smash all through in Twenty20 but it's difficult to do so over 50 overs. It's more challenging and these two formats would stay longer."

All the members of the Indian team, Sehwag said, were praying for the good health and recovery of Yuvraj Singh who is suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy in United States.

"We are hoping he would be fine and fit when he comes back. We all are praying for him."

Later, the Sri Lanka team also released a press statement, stating their concern on Yuvraj Singh's health and wishing him speedy recovery.

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