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New Zealand needs to tame Sehwag -Amit Masram Column
by Amit Masram
Mar 04, 2009
India have stopped the New Zealanders,taking the momentum of their T-20 wins ,by overpowering them in the opening match.India did well to choose what works for them,bat first and play without any pressure,and they were helped by Virender Sehwag’s rich form. After the rain gods halted the play,the match was reduced to 38 overs a side.Electing to bat first,Virender Sehwag again was in scintillating form,finding the gaps with ease and timing the ball beautifully , when the ball is in his zone.Kyle Mills coming back after the lay off , was guilty of either balling too wide or too full,there by helping the Indians,Suresh Raina in particular.Dhoni and Raina association fetched 110 from just 12.2 overs to virtually shut the door on the New Zealand side.

273 was a stiff target in the circumstances in the revised 38 overs and once the openers were dismissed cheaply it was always a catch up game for the New Zealand team. Daniel Vettori will have come up with something new to curb Virender Sehwag’s free flowing stroke play and range of shots. For that to happen the bowl has to be pitched up to invite him into the drive, or even a barrage of back of length deliveries to make him nervous? Most of India’s recent success has a fulcrum in the form of Sehwag and Gambhir.

A recalculated target of 216 off 28 overs after the rain interruptions was an improbable one , with India sailing home by Duckworth and Lewis method by 54 runs .Indian bowlers used the conditions well , Pravin Kumar in particular picked up a couple of wickets , was bowling well with Zaheer Khan .Harbhajan Singh then polished off the tail,picking up three wickets.

From an Indian standpoint , Mahendra Singh Dhoni did well by promoting himself up the order and rotated the strike well in the initial stages , and then threw the bat at everything in the end , but it was the belligerence of Suresh Raina that ensured India to put a daunting total , with acceleration by Yusuf Pathan in the death overs.

Vettori would be busy in thinking about the ploy to tie Sehwag and make early inroads in the Indian batting line up for the next game, as that would then make the inexperienced and off colour middle order to face the music .On the other hand, the Indians would be content with their winning effort, after the successive T-20 defeats. However they will have to get Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum early .Both have the flair to clear the short boundaries and clearly running in form .Nevertheless, Dhoni and his men would be releaved that they were did not tour Pakistan, but for sure it has put an element of doubt in player’s mind about his safety and cricketer were hitherto attacked or targeted.
 
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