Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has some advise for the Indian batsmen ahead of the team’s second Test against South Africa in Centurion. India lost the first Test after failing to chase a total of 208 on a bowler friendly wicket, and now face an uphill battle to get something out of the series.
Sehwag said, “Don’t fiddle with deliveries outside the off-stump will be my advice to the batsmen. Play as straight as possible. Your ‘go to’ shots should be straight drive and flick. Get prepared to be hurt by some short stuff. Rather than trying to fend off short balls, get prepared to take blows on your body.” The cricketer-turned-commentator also said that the team should go in with six specialist batsmen and four bowlers, to accommodate Ajinkya Rahane in the starting XI.
“India can go in with an extra batsman in Ajinkya Rahane,” he said. “They should also try to go in with four specialist bowlers. If India want to win, Virat and Rohit will need to play a big role.” Sehwag had hit a century on debut in Bloemfontein in 2001, and knows the conditions in South Africa well. He added, “The tennis ball bounce in South Africa means that it will be very difficult for any batsman to get bowled. So one needs to stay positive and try to score runs at the rate of at least three runs per over.”
However, the former Delhi batsman was realistic when speaking about India’s chances of getting anything out of the series. “As of now, it looks like only 30 percent chance is there of making a comeback (in the series). It is going to be very tough from now on. Also the Indian team management should look into the conditions at the Centurion and whether it warrants a place for Ravichandran Ashwin,” he concluded.