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India sweat on Sehwag's fitness

February 23, 2010 21:14 IST

M S DhoniSuspense still prevails over Virender Sehwag's availability for the second one-dayer against South Africa in Gwalior, with India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni opting to wait till Wednesday morning to decide on including the explosive opener in the team.

Sehwag did not field during the South African innings in the first ODI in Jaipur on Sunday because of a sore back.

On Tuesday, during a training session at the Captain Roop Singh stadium, he batted in the nets without any apparent discomfort against pacer S Sreesanth and the spinners, and also had slip catching practice. But Dhoni still insisted that a final decision on including him for the match will be taken only on the morning of the match.

"We will see tomorrow. After so much hard work [on the field] we will have to see how his back shapes up by tomorrow. As of now, it looks good," Dhoni said.

He disclosed that, just like South Africa, India also have a rotation plan for the players, so that the best are available for the 2011 World Cup.

"You have to see the status of the players before the World Cup. Injuries keep coming on. We will try to rotate players, so that the best 11-12 players are there at that time," he said.

"It has become a bit of habit. Every six weeks there is injury to one other [player]. It is unfortunate and we can't do much about it. We get opportunity to try the other players. But the youngsters have done well," he added.

Praising Ravindra Jadeja,  India's hero with the ball in the Jaipur ODI on Sunday, Dhoni said with the Saurashtra all-rounder in the team, the home side does not find itself a bowler short in this series.

"We are not short of one bowler. (Ravindra) Jadeja has turned into a specialist bowler. We have groomed him into a bowler who has done well," said Dhoni.

Asked whether Virat Kohli's batting order will change, Dhoni said, "Batsmen keep floating. It [batting order] changes according to situation. You see the strength and then give the slot. Like, if there is a big opening stand, then the number three batsman changes accordingly. It's not tough [to adjust]."

Fast bowlers have come a cropper in the slog overs on many occasions recently, but Dhoni said pace bowling is not the only option at the death and the bowlers need to keep in mind their field while bowling.

"You cannot concentrate on just pace. You have to bowl according to situation, keep in mind the form of the batsman. Bowling yorkers is not the only option during the death overs, but you definitely need to bowl to your field," he said.

Asked if pacers are the only option in the batting power-plays, he said, "It depends on the condition. If there is a bit of help then somebody could bowl. It is difficult to bowl in the first 10 overs. It's a bit of handicap for them [spinners]. But you have to do well and take up the challenge in whatever situation you are in."

"Cricket has evolved. There are a lot of ups and down in the power-plays," he added.

When a South African journalist asked about Gary Kirsten, Dhoni replied that the coach is an integral part of the home team.

"I won't compare him with other coaches. He came in and understood the culture and how each individual works. He does not panic. The best thing about him is his mindset. He changed himself to accommodate himself into the team. He has become one of the strengths of the team. The dressing room environment is very good," he said.

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