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Sehwag to curb attacking instincts
February 25, 2007 14:52 IST
Indian opener Virender Sehwag is prepared to tone down his explosive batting style to regain form and make an impact at the World Cup starting next month.
The 28-year-old Delhi batsman goes into the tournament starting in the Caribbean on March 13 following a prolonged form slump which almost cost him his World Cup spot.
Sehwag said the poor run, scoring just one half-century in 13 innings since August, had dented his confidence. He was also replaced by Sachin Tendulkar as skipper Rahul Dravid's deputy.
"I'm practising hard, on fitness and batting and bowling," he said on Sunday.
"Hopefully, I will get better before the World Cup and get some confidence and perform consistently." His fast starts would be crucial for the 1983 champions, but he failed on the South Africa tour late last year and was left out of the recent home one-day series victory over West Indies.
Sehwag regained form in the series-clinching win over Sri Lanka this month, scoring 46 off 44 balls before he was run out as he walked across to complete a single.
"I've changed a little bit in my shot selection," he said. "It's important you are careful with your shots, especially when you are not getting runs.
"I will restrict one or two of my shots, spend some time at the wicket and then play them," he said. "Before that maybe I was playing too many shots initially and getting out."
Chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has asked him to settle down and see off the early overs when the white ball swings a lot.
Sehwag backed his natural aggression, pointing to his strike rate of 96.04, having scored 4,833 runs in 167 one-dayers. He has also taken 72 wickets bowling off-spin.
"If you start hitting the ball, the bowler will also be a little scared," he said. "You put pressure on him so he will give one or two balls to hit to the boundary."
Sehwag admits to feeling extra pressure following the poor run in South Africa.
"This was for the first time my form was bad in both Tests and one-dayers," he said.
"It happens sometimes, the bad patch comes in your cricketing life. Maybe I've passed through that phase. Hopefully, I will play some big innings in the World Cup."
Sehwag was confident India would do well on pitches he said could play slow with low bounce like in the sub-continent. "It could be difficult for [champions] Australia also," he said. "They are used to bouncy and fast tracks. So the team which plays well on a given day will win.
"My goal is to give a good start to the team and if I get that, to just carry on and get a big one."
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