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India banking on Dhoni, Laxman and rain to save Test

Last updated on: July 21, 2010 20:52 IST

India are hoping that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and VVS Laxman will bat long enough -- like they did against South Africa early this year -- and heavens do them a favour by opening up on Thursday to salvage the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Opener Virender Sehwag, the only Indian to score a century in this Test so far, said both Dhoni and Laxman can still spoil Sri Lanka's party.

India, who ended Day 4 on 181 for five, still trail by 63 runs and need to survive three sessions on the final day to save the opening match of the three-Test series.

"Laxman and Dhoni are able to bat and we are hoping for the rain. On earlier occasion the two did bat against South Africa and we are hoping it will happen tomorrow," Sehwag said after the fourth day's play.

Both Dhoni and Laxman had scored centuries against the Proteas in the Kolkata Test in February and their partnership was instrumental in India winning that match.

The second day of the Test was washed out without a ball being bowled due to rain.

Sehwag also defended his selection of shots in the match as he lost his wicket while chasing out-of-reach balls in both the innings.

In the first innings, he squandered his wicket soon after posting his 20th Test hundred by chasing a wide delivery off paceman Chanaka Welegedara and fell to the same bowler in the second essay when he played one away from his body.

Sehwag though said that's the way he bats and does not find anything wrong with his shot selection.

"I don't think (it was a mistake) to play a cut shot. Out of the 7000 odd runs 3000 runs of mine, have been in cut shots," he reasoned.

Sehwag also rued that India let Sri Lanka's tail-enders score too many runs.

"The long stand between Malinga and Herath cost us dear, as they put on about 100 runs partnership. If that had not happened we could have avoided the follow-on and things could have been different," he said.

"It is good to have results in Test matches, but in this case it could be bad for India. Overall, you cannot control certain things. We want to bat as long as possible. We do not want to lose a Test match.

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