Hamilton:After demolishing the New Zealand bowling attack with consummate ease in one-dayers, explosive opener Virender Sehwag will once again be crucial for India to dominate New Zealand in the Test series starting tomorrow, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters on the eve of the first Test, Dhoni said he wants Sehwag to play his natural game.
"We want him to play the way he wants to play, because that is his natural style. We all know if he gets going he can dominate the bowlers and all of a sudden you see the bowling attack rattled," the 27-year-old said.
"We have seen if he plays for two hours or three hours, he is a batsman who is capable of getting big scores. He is not the kind who gets out in 30s or 40s; 50s or 60s. If he gets going, he gets big scores."
With India chasing an elusive Test series victory in New Zealand, something they haven't achieved in 41 years, Dhoni knows the importance of an in-form Sehwag up the order.
The right-handed batsman can change the course of the game in one session by pulverising any bowling attack into submission.
"We don't want individuals to change their game. That is the strength, because of which they are part of the Indian team. Definitely in between you may want them to curb your natural game, but more often about 80 per cent of the times we want them to play their natural game," Dhoni explained.
However, the wicketkeeper-batsman also made it clear that the team's success over the last 18 months wasn't based on individual performances alone but depended largely on a collective effort.
"We don't rely on individuals. If you see our record in the past one and a half year, we don't really depend only on batsmen. The bowlers have come out with plenty of aggression on flat tracks. They bowled the right lines and have got the best batsmen out because of their consistency and execution of plans. We don't rely on just batsmen or bowlers, we have been good totally as a team."
Speaking about the three-match Test series, the India captain said he expects New Zealand to come back hard after losing the one-day series 3-1.
"New Zealand lost the one-day series, but that doesn't mean they are not a good side. They are a very competitive team, especially when it comes to exploiting the conditions out here. We expect tough cricket over the next 20-25 days," Dhoni said.