Virender Sehwag, India's stand-in captain in the 51-run loss to Sri Lanka at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday, took a dig at regular skipper MS Dhoni for his comments on the senior's fielding abilities.
On Sunday, after India’s 110-run loss to Australia, Dhoni had said the top three batsmen were not playing every game because they are slow on the field.
However, at the post-match conference on Tuesday, Sehwag stated the senior players had not been informed that their 'slow fielding' was an issue and added Dhoni had said the rotation policy has been put in place to ensure the youngsters in the team get a chance to bat on the Australian pitches. "Dhoni told us he wanted to give chance to the youngsters who are expected to play vital roles in the 2015 World Cup. He never told us that slow fielding is an issue.” said Sehwag.
Dhoni had said on Sunday the top three are not being played together as it would affect India's fielding, adding that they could break down fielding in the big grounds of Australia. “They are safe fielders, but on the slower side... The pressure would be on them. There would be breakdowns… You can pull a muscle or hamstring," Dhoni said.
Sehwag, however was obviously not impressed with Dhoni's statement, and pointed out to the catch he took to dismiss Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene at the Gabba; before adding he has no issues with the rotation policy and is available for all the matches in the ongoing Commonwealth Bank Series. "I am putting this on record that I am available for all the matches. It depends on the captain and coach what
eleven they pick. If they give me a reason that we are giving chance to youngsters and we need to take a break, I am happy with that," he said.
Sehwag, who played a horrendous shot to be dismissed off the second ball in India's run chase, was at pains though to deny that there was any rift in the team. "We are one unit and a happy unit. He (Dhoni) is the captain… He can say whatever he wants. He addresses the media, has been doing it for the last two years, and we are okay with it," he said.
Talking about the loss to Sri Lanka, Sehwag said India have to win their last two matches in the CB Series and the batsmen need to look at their shot selection. He also said it's a tough phase for the team as most of the batsmen are not in form. "Only Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gautam are among runs. If you have to win ODIs, at least 4-5 batsmen have to bat till the end and at least one should score a century," Sehwag said, and also admitted his bowlers didn't bowl well in the last 10 overs of Sri Lanka's innings.
The opening batsman also admitted he needs to be more circumspect at the start of his innings and needs to improve his own performances. Sehwag, who has scored only 30 runs in the three matches he has played in the CB Series said, "I have been dismissed caught at third man or at the slips five times in the tour. I am looking at my performance and I have to improve for the side to win matches."