Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sewhag in test squad: Master stroke by selectors

Indian selectors are usually considered as next only to their Sri Lankan counterparts- who were recently dubbed by Atapattu as a "bunch of muppets headed by a joker", in their eccentricity, but the latest move of theirs to include Sewhag in the test sqaud touring Australia in 2007-2008 would surely gain immense respect for their fraternity.

The Indian selectors have made some silly decisions from the beginning of Indian Cricket, and the most crazy blunder was the manner in which Ganguly was unceremoniously dropped from the National Squad last year. But, some others may conclude that (on hindsight) it was a good move, considering how tremendously Ganguly has upped the ante to make a fairy-tale comeback which means he has peaked at the most opportune moment, in time for the Aussie series- where the top two test teams of the world- Australia and India clash in a high-voltage series of 4 tests.

Although it would be ridiculous for the selectors to draw any credit for Ganguly's phenomenal growth (and rightly so- they won't), they can be praised for the aggressive stance taken by them ahead of the all important Aussie series.

In selecting Sewhag, they have sent out a message to the Aussies that they shall not be conservative, and that the Indians too have the so-called "ruthless aggression" amongst them. In banking on Sewhag to provide some fireworks in his own demolishing style, they actually send out shockwaves to the Aussie camp.

Not to mention the motivation Sewhag might feel by this move, and thereby he would strive to perform great deeds like he did last time Down Under.
I think the selectors must double up this incusion by selecting him in the playing XI for the 1st test, after seeing how well he is coping upto the conditions in the Warm-Up matches. It could be a gamble- but given Dinesh Karthik's poor form, it wouldn't matter much. In fact, I suggest the selectors judge both players from the Warm-Up matches and pick their squad.
We must forget that Sewhag is as good a fielder as Karthik, a fantastic slip catcher, and a very handy off-spinner well known to break partnerships. He will surely add to the team's strength.

Sewhag had already mentioned to one and all, that it hurts to be out of the team, and this unexpected inclusion, and thereby display of faith would no doubt spur him to perform more responsibly.

The pitches in Australia have pace and bounce aplenty- which batsmen of Sewhag's kind would relish. He is the kind of batsman who likes the ball coming onto his bat. So he shall do well there.
Mcgrath with his accurate line and length, along with his "infinitesimal" movement was a mighty threat for batsmen like Sewhag, with little technical prowess, but right now, without Warne and him- the Aussie bowling attack is not so special as it was a few years back.

But, even without Mcgrath, the Australian Bowling attack looks potent enough to threaten Sewhag with his traditional weaknesses. Brett Lee is bowling accurately now, and with his pace (which is only a bit lower than earlier) he'll be deadly.
But, as I always say- an aggressive approach to the Aussies is the best way to keep them off- and that's the only way Sewhag knows. So it'll be a nice contest- one that would liven up Sewhag's name Down Under for many more years to come. I think Sewhag will come on tops- it's my gut feeling he's a far better batsman than we think he is.

But, if he fails (which I'm sure he will not) he could as well as kiss his Test career goodbye... T20 wouldn't get anyone far, yet it got you a shot at the Aussies, in a transition phase. If you don't cash in now- lightning will never strike twice Sew- T20 and all of cricket will forsake you.
Go on Viru- show 'em! We love you- and we believe you! (so say the selectors- and me as well)

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