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Team India practising to make it perfect at Colombo

Last updated on: July 24, 2010 20:20 IST

Team India practising to make it perfect at Colombo

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Having been humiliated in the opening Test at Galle - one that will always be remembered as Muttiah Muralitharan's farewell Test, and one where he became the first bowler ever to reach the 800 wickets milestone - Team India are keen to ensure the mistakes aren't repeated in the second Test at Colombo beginning on Monday.

The team practised hard on Saturday.

And they had some good news coming their way as well.

Besides the fact that Muralithran won't be there at Colombo to torment them - the offie took eight wickets at Galle -paceman Lasith Malinga has also been ruled out due to a stiff knee.

Malinga's absence from the line-up - the bowler took seven wickets, five in the second innings - will give India a huge relief as they seek to level the series.


Image: Mahindra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Reuters
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Sehwag needs to focus on his shot selection

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Virender Sehwag was particularly focussed during a practice session.

Sehwag scored 109 and 31 in the Galle Test.

However, what will concern India is the manner in which Sehwag gifted his wicket away 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, however, defended his selection of shots after the match.

"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.

The facts may be true but the reasoning certainly is not convincing.


Image: Virender Sehwag

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Harbhajan needs to be among the wickets

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Harbhajan Singh was another player who was quite focussed during the practise session.

Harbhajan, despite not being hundred per cent fit, was included in the side. 

It showed up when he struggled to bowl on the opening day. A lacklustre showing by him and Pragyan Ojha enabled Sri Lanka steal the momentum and post a mammoth 520 for eight declared in their first innings.

Harbhajan went wicketless in the 30 overs he bowled in the first innings, while Ojha went for 115 runs in 28 overs and never really threatened with the ball.

Harbhajan's fitness remains a worry ahead of Colombo.


Image: Harbhajan Singh

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Dhoni has to take more responsibility

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian captain, admitted that lack of experience in the pace attack and failure to build partnerships proved costly for his team in the opening Test in Galle.

Looking at the conditions here, I think we lacked experience in bowling. It was a learning experience for the seamers, who did a decent job after the first day," Dhoni said after India succumbed to a 10-wicket defeat.

"There are plenty of areas to work on. Hopefully we will learn from mistakes and come good in the next match," he added.

Maybe the captain was right.

India were without pace duo of Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth and the inexperienced seamers -- Ishant Sharma  and debutant Abhimanyu Mithun lacked of experience.

The fact that both the spinners - Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha - also failed added to Team India's cup of woes.

However, there will be no scope for explanation should India lose at Colombo.

For the loss will mean the series can no longer be won.

Dhoni, the captain has to take more responsibility and ensure his side makes optimum use of the available resources.


Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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