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Waugh tips Sehwag as next Test captain

January 28, 2008 22:30 IST

Showering rich accolades on Virender Sehwag for his match-saving 151 on Monday, former Australian captain Steve Waugh tipped the opener ahead of Mahendra Singh Dhoni to replace Anil Kumble as the next Test captain of India.

"India will be searching sooner rather than later for a replacement for the ageing Anil Kumble and an unlikely candidate has emerged during the last two Tests in Virender Sehwag," Waugh said.

"His game-saving fourth innings in Adelaide revealed a cricketer who has finally realised that talent alone doesn't guarantee consistent results.

"He has always been a debonair, swashbuckling type who refused to dilute his instinctive play, but in Adelaide he elevated his game by adjusting to the conditions and showing his teammates that the team result came before his ego," Waugh wrote in his column in the Daily Telegraph.

Sehwag, who was out of the Indian team for almost a year due to a form slump, made people take note of his maturity which benefited even 38-year-old Kumble, who was seen consulting him on-field during the matches.

"He also became increasingly involved in on-field discussions and by out bowling his more illustrious teammate Harbhajan Singh it revealed a man high on confidence and ready to fulfil his destiny," he said.

Waugh also lauded emerging Indian paceman Ishant Sharma's performance by likening him with world's greatest seamer Glenn McGrath and said he should be managed in right way.

"India have something special in Ishant Sharma if managed correctly. The danger in such a cricket-crazy country is the pedestal that is slipped under one's feet the moment any inkling of success occurs.

"This kid reminds me of a young McGrath in his attitude towards learning, trajectory of delivery, temperament and the rapid improvement he has shown in a short space of time," Waugh said.

"He will be India's best quick since Javagal Srinath and like Mitchell Johnson the selectors must have vision and not judge purely on statistics," he added.

Waugh also rated Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsman of the series, saying he turned back the clock.

"Sachin Tendulkar marginally ahead of Matthew Hayden who scored three centuries from three Tests. Tendulkar found something from within to turn back the clock after struggling in recent years against quality bowling, to once again be the batsman the rest of the team bat around.

"He set himself for a stellar series, focusing in on technique and channelled concentration and never appeared rushed in his shots or harassed by the bowlers.

"He mixed text book shot-making with a variety of unorthodox sweeps to regularly ask questions of his opponents and single-handedly took on the responsibility to stop Australia's momentum by occupying the crease and making two scores in excess of 150."

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