By Kushan Sarkar
Colombo: Sep 26, 2012
The doubts regarding Virender Sehwag's thumb injury were put to rest as the swashbuckling opener batted for about half-an-hour in the nets on Wednesday ahead of India's Super Eight encounter of the World T20 against Australia on Friday.
Sehwag, who didn't bat at the nets Tuesday, was intent personified on Wednesday as he raced into the nets when his teammates were dumping kit bags at the P Sara Oval dressing room.
Sehwag first entered the spinners' net and lofted Piyush Chawla repeatedly over the long-off. There weren't any signs of discomfort during his 25-minute stint at the nets.
For the Indian team, most of the batsmen were tested against short-pitched deliveries by their bowlers as well as by the net bowlers.
Right from Sehwag, Gambhir to Raina everyone was seen perfecting the horizontal bat shots.
"The Indian coach was telling us to hit the deck consistently and try to get it up at the ribs. At times, we were told to bowl yorkers," Anjana, one of the net bowlers informed.
With Sehwag's comeback, there are clear indications that India will go back to their 'seven-batsman, four-bowlers' theory and either Lakshmipathy Balaji or Zaheer Khan will get the axe as Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan are automatic choices for this match.
While Zaheer has been in disappointing form for the past couple of months, Balaji has just made a comeback and bowling first-up against the destructive players such as Shane Watson and David Warner will be like throwing him at the deep end of the pool.
The preparations for the Super Eights are in full swing and one feels bad for Manoj Tiwary, who effectively has become the most unfortunate 15th member of this set-up.
While the other 14 has got a chance to play at least one game, the Bengal youngster, who has scored a century, a half- century and taken four wickets in his last three international matches, has not been drafted into playing XI for a single game.
A specialist batsman, Tiwary's role in the team is that of a glorified net bowler who hardly gets a chance to bat in the nets.
While Dhoni's inclination to play Rohit Sharma has finally paid dividends, it will be interesting know what is in store for the Tiwary whose confidence is getting shot to pieces with each passing day.
Tiwary has now been benched for 14 consecutive matches after scoring a century and getting man-of-the-match award. (PTI)