Calcutta/Colombo: For those who believe that Virender Sehwag do not command the same respect as he did a couple of years ago, Australia's middle-order main stay Micahel Hussey has something to say. According to the left-handed batsman, Sehwag can never be "out of form".
"I would never say that Virender Sehwag is out of form... He can miss out a couple of times, but we all know that every time he misses out, he is closer to the next big one. Normally, when he scores big runs, he scores them quickly… So I will never say Sehwag is out of form," Hussey said at the end of Australia's practice session at the P Sara Oval ground, on Wednesday.
And not only Sehwag, the Aussies are also concerned about a Virat Kohli. "Yeah, I am not exactly sure what our plans are but even if I know I am not going to reveal them. Kohli is obviously enjoying a purple patch in the manner that he is playing. Every batsman tends to miss out on some stage and I hope that he is going to miss out against us," Hussey said.
Group 2 of the Super Eights at the World T20 has been classified as the veritable 'group of death', comprising India, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa. India will face the Aussies on Friday.
Speaking about the Super Eights, Hussey refused to call Group 2 more dangerous as he said: "If you want to win the tournament, you got to play pretty much every one… I don't think only this pool is tough, the other pool has teams like West Indies, a dangerous side, and England, who are the world champions… Like I said, we got to beat the best teams in the tournament to win it," Hussey was quoted as saying by the ICC website.
He did not hide how seriously his team were taking Friday's game and said that a winning start to the Super Eights campaign is absolutely necessary. "We are coming to a very important stage of the tournament and probably that first game is very crucial… If we can get a winning start, then it would put us in a good position to make it to the semi-final. That first game is massive," Hussey said.
Having said that, Hussey is aware of the threat that the Indians pose. "I am not sure which make-up of the team they are going to go for. They have quality players all the way down that list and we got to adapt pretty quickly. I do suspect that they will bowl a fair bit of spin to us… Not just the frontline spinners, maybe the part-timers will also bowl at us.
"Guys like Yuvraj (Singh), (Suresh) Raina and Rohit Sharma can bowl a bit… Even Sehwag can bowl. We have to adapt very quickly to whoever they are going to bring on. It can be a tough challenge," he said.
Talking of Harbhajan, the offie's rivalry with the Australian batsmen has a rich history. Hussey didn't deny that Harbhajan's inclusion would strengthen the India team.
"Of course, Harbhajan is going to strengthen the team. He is a class act and has been that for a long period of time… He is someone that we respect but when you play T20, you've got to be aggressive as well and try and put him under pressure. He did a fantastic job the other night, but I think we can play better than the English team," a confident Hussey said.
The Australian is banking on the IPL experience to locate the chinks in India's armour. "It does help in getting a better knowledge, definitely... Seeing how those guys prepare and play, seeing their strengths and weakness, seeing how they train for these subcontinent conditions, it is going to be a positive."
Related reports: Page 14