World T20 Super Sunday: Dhoni's Sehwag problem bigger for India than Pakistan

Five bowlers or Sehwag is simply the wrong 'choice' for India

India is imploding as a cricket team.

Strategy is beginning to look like self-sabotage and simmering discontent may finally boil over to end the Sri Lankan T20 odyssey for MS Dhoni & Co.

The big elephant in the room is the position of Virender Sehwag in the team – or his lack of position.

After being dropped against England, several cricket websites from India reported that Sehwag was not happy at being dropped.

Then came the huge decision, in true MS Dhoni-style, of picking five bowlers and dropping Sehwag instead of Rohit Sharma.

Australia destroyed India and now all Pakistan have to do is watch India fall apart – unless Sehwag and Dhoni are on board with whatever the team strategy for the must-win game on Sunday is.

Commentating in the Australia game, Sanjay Manjrekar hit the nail on the head in saying that playing five bowlers is ok, but dropping Sehwag robs India of a certain psychological boost.

In form or not, Sehwag walking out to open the batting, just his presence puts the bowling team on the backfoot in a manner that the sight of Irfan Pathan just does not.

Form books are out the window when India play Pakistan and hero of Pakistan’s win over South Africa, seamer Umar Gul knows that.

He his power-packed 32 off 17 balls against the Proteas and speaking on the India game, said: “In T20 it all depends on how a team plays on that day.

“When we play India there is lot of pressure because our people always want us to win.

"The same is the case in India, so there will be pressure on both teams.

Dhoni, still looking for a positive spin ahead of the sold-out game at the Premadasa Stadium, said, “It is always good to be in a situation where you have to win every game.

"There is no scope for complacency and that is a good thing. You have to be at your best throughout.

"Hopefully we can go out and express ourselves without worrying too much about the result."

Dhoni also blamed the untimely spell of rain before Australia's chase as the reason for his side's humiliating loss on Friday.

"One can't criticise five-bowler strategy just because we have done badly in one match.

“We had done well against England but today rain became a factor. Once there was rain, the Australians had an option and they used light roller.

“Once the ball gets wet, it is very difficult for spinners to grip the ball," Dhoni said at the post-match press conference.

"At the end of 10 overs, we were 70 for two and suddenly we became 70-odd for five. Then it was question of playing 20 overs as well as putting a defendable target. We were ideally looking at a bigger score," he said.

Dhoni has promised to go all out against their arch-rivals as "it could not have got worse".

FACT FILE – WEAK INDIA, STRONG PAKISTAN

India, winners of the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007, failed to win even one Super Eights game in the next two editions, in England in 2009 and the Caribbean in 2010

India and Pakistan have played just two official Twenty20 internationals against each other, both during the 2007 tournament

The league match in Durban ended in a tie before India won the bowl-out.

The two sides met again in the final in Johannesburg, which India won by five runs in the final over.

 

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