The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sehwag as Test opener is suspect: Manjrekar

Calcutta: Former Indian middle-order batsman Sanjay Manjrekar feels that the Indian thinktank needs to do some intense soul searching about the batting which capitulated at the Basin Reserve as the team crashed to a humiliating 10-wicket defeat at the hands of New Zealand last Saturday.

“Virender Sehwag is perfectly suited at the top of the order in one-dayers, but when it comes to Test matches, he definitely looks a bit suspect,” Manjrekar, who was in the city to moderate a debate said at the CC&FC on Tuesday.

He, however, does not feel that the dashing batsman should be removed straight away. “I don’t think we have too much of an option in the current series. But Sehwag cannot be persisted with on a long-term basis. We will have to think of different options,” he added.

Manjrekar felt the main reason for India’s terrible showing in the first Test was their failure to adapt to the situation. “To succeed overseas, it’s mandatory for the players to get used to alien conditions as quickly as possible. But sadly that was not the case here,” he said.

In the same breath, Manjrekar conceded that conditions in New Zealand have undergone a sea-change over the past few years. “Earlier, when we toured New Zealand, the pitches were not as bouncy as they are these days. They have worked hard on their pitches and are reaping the harvests,” Manjrekar added.

Sounding a positive note, he said the ODIs would see the Indian team turn the tide. “The Indians are a good unit and I’m sure they will try their best to have things sorted out before the World Cup.”

Talking about the probable appointment of a bowling coach, Manjrekar said: “It’s a step in the right direction. John Wright has been able to induce a lot of positive energy into the Indian side. I’m sure the bowling coach will do the same.”

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