Virender Sehwag has praised Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal's performance stating that they've helped the Indian cricket team not to feel the absence of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. Sehwag has also picked India to complete a 5-0 clean sweep if Australia in the series.
Jadeja and Ashwin made all the headlines ahead of the India-Australia series after the experienced duo were dropped from Team India’s squad for the first three ODIs of the series. The team management, who are following a rotation policy to check their bench strength ahead of the 2019 World Cup, explained that they wanted to give the youngsters a chance to prove their worth. Kuldeep and Chahal not only took up the challenge but have passed with flying colours and have a new fan in the shape of former Indian opener Sehwag.
"It is a nice thing that we do not feel the pinch of not having two experienced spinners on our side, because our newcomers are performing very well," Sehwag said as quoted by IANS.
In the second ODI in Kolkata, Yadav became only the third Indian to take a hat-trick in ODI cricket. Sehwag praised the achievement but also advised the youngster to leak fewer runs.
"He must bowl according to his field placings because, in the second ODI, he gave away too many runs during his spell," he added.
The former Indian opener also applauded Chahal, who now became Virat Kohli's go-to-man. Chahal, who also plays under Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore, has thrived and even though he did not pick up a majority of the wickets in the second ODI, his tight lengths kept the pressure in the visitors.
"Chahal has the advantage of bowling on wickets like Bengaluru during the IPL matches. Chahal plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore, which is captained by Virat Kohli," he said.
"So whenever there is a crisis, Kohli hands over the ball to Chahal."
Even though India have won both their matches, the middle order has not looked convincing so far. The 38-year-old has opined that Kohli should make changes in the middle order so as to put the visitors to the sword. In the first ODI which was played in Chennai, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya guided the team to a respectable total, similarly, in the second match Kohli’s knock helped India to cross the 250-run mark.
"The middle-order did not perform well in the first two ODIs, and captain Kohli needs to change the batting order. Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav should take advantage of the chances given to them, otherwise both have been flops till now," he said.
Despite non-performing middle-order, Sehwag predicted 5-0 win for India in the ongoing series.
"Team India presently seems to be as strong as Steve Waugh's or Ricky Ponting's Australian teams. The present Australian team lacks strength. I am confident Team India will win the series 5-0," Sehwag added.
Despite picking the hosts to sweep the Aussies, Sehwag said that the Indian side needs to be wary of Steve Smith, David Warner, and Glenn Maxwell as they are capable enough to turn the match in any situations.
"The Australian team does not have good bowlers except Nathan Coulter-Nile. In the batting order, we would have to remove Steve Smith, Warner and Maxwell at the earliest," Sehwag said.
"Smith, in particular, because he always makes runs against India."
Sehwag also voiced his confidence in Kohli’s captaincy who has guided his team to register eight back to back victories. However, the former Indian opener was quick to acknowledged Dhoni’s contribution to the side as well stating that he always knows how to react in difficult situations.
"Kohli as captain does not speak much, but his bat speaks for him. Kohli knows how to bring a game under his control, and that is why, India is on its winning streak," he added.
"Dhoni, too, knew how to bring the game under his control."
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