India may play 7 batsmen, recall Sehwag

Updated: 19 February 2008 16:46 IST

In the key Adelaide game against Sri Lanka, India are expected to recall Sehwag and drop the fifth bowler.


With their campaign for a berth in the cricket tri-series final thrown into jeopardy, India may discard their five-bowler theory and recall Virender Sehwag when they take on Sri Lanka in a crucial game here on Tuesday.

Stung by Sunday's debacle when the young batsmen failed to chase down a meagre target of 204 runs against Australia, India are likely to revert to their seven-batsmen format as they seek to put is across the islanders to revive their hopes of making it to the final.

It brightens up the chance of Sehwag returning to the line-up as the dashing opener, more than his fitness, was removed for tactical reason in the game against Australia on Sunday.

Points table: the competition intensifies

With hosts Australia virtually assuring a place in the final having bagged 17 points from five matches, much will depend on India's performance against the Sri Lankans in the day-night encounter.

The Indians are in the second position on the points table with 8 points from five games while Sri
Lanka have six points from four matches.

Sehwag has a bruise near his right shoulder but that alone was not the reason to keep him out of the playing eleven.

Faced with a choice of dropping a batsman, skipper MS Dhoni showed trusted the out-of-form Yuvraj Singh and Robin Uthappa but the plan came unstuck as the duo failed.

India are likely to once again seek deliverance from the senior pros and it puts Sehwag firmly in the picture.

Troubles witj the new ball

Sehwag has not been in the best of nick in this one-day series but his association with Sachin Tendulkar is key to India's plans.

All the three teams have struggled to come to terms with the new white ball and bowlers of all the teams have had a field day.

The Lankans have won only one game but the equation is slightly in their favour going into Tuesday's match. Both sides need at least two wins under their belt.

India have just three games left of their lined up games, Sri Lanka have four.

The Adelaide Oval pitch is likely to get slower because of the persistent heat. Hence India are expected to play an extra batsman.

The bounce, evident in Sunday's game, may not be as pronounced Tuesday on the worn-out pitch.

Form a problem for Sri Lanka

India is banking on Sri Lanka's batting to once again misfire on Tuesday as it has done all through the summer.

But for Kumar Sangakkara, who has 132 runs from four games at average of 44, none of the other Lankan batsmen have scored even 100 runs from the competition.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene has 63 runs from four games while Sanath Jayasuriya has 43 from equal number of matches.

Sri Lanka's bowling, though economical, hasn't been as destructive as well. Lead bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas have only six wickets between them and their averages of 58.66 and 60.00 also does not make it a pretty reading.

Lasith Malinga, with seven wickets at 29 apiece, has been their standout bowler though against the Indians he went for 56 and 45 runs from 10 and six overs.

The conditions at the Adelaide Oval are expected to be hot. The scorching sun of the last few days is unlikely to yield Tuesday.

Indian skipper MS Dhoni sure would be looking to win the toss and post a big total to keep themselves in hunt for a place in the final.

Likely teams:

India: MS Dhoni (capt), S Tendulkar, V Sehwag, G Gambhir, R Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, R Uthappa, Harbhajan Singh, I Sharma, Sreesanth and I Pathan.

Sri Lanka: M Jayawardena (capt), S Jayasuriya,
T Dilshan, K Sangakkara, C Silva, C Kapugedara, N Kulasekara, F Maharoof, L Malinga, M Muralitharan, C Vaas.

Timings: 8.45 am IST (GMT 0315) onwards.

Topics : Cricket India
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