Exclusive | Sehwag to India TV: This Australian team lacks competitiveness; India will sweep series 5-0Virender Sehwag believes Australia are not good enough to stop a marauding Indian team, which is unbeaten in its last eight ODI matches.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag said the current Indian team, under the leadership of Virat Kohli, reminds him of the Australian sides led by Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, which dominated world cricket for years. While speaking on India TV's hugely popular Cricket Ki Baat show, Sehwag said India will whitewash Australia in the ongoing five-match series. "This Indian team seems to be as strong as the Australian teams led by Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting," Sehwag told India TV.
India, who are leading the series 2-0 after their wins in Chennai and Kolkata, will aim to seal the deal in the third ODI in Indore on Sunday. Kohli and his men, who became the No.1 ranked ODI team after their 50-run win in the second ODI on Thursday, are on an eight-match winning run and also hold an edge going into the third match in Indore, where they have a 100 percent win record. India have won all four of their matches played at Indore's Holkar Stadium.
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On the other hand, Steve Smtih's Australian team is reeling under its 10-match overseas losing streak and face a must-win situation on Sunday.
Sehwag said the current Australia team lacks competitiveness and strength to counter the Indian team.
"The present Australian team lacks competitiveness and strength. The Australian team does not have good bowlers except Nathan Coulter-Nile. In the batting order, we would have to remove Steve Smith, David Warner and Glenn Maxwell at the earliest. Smith, in particular, because he always makes runs against India"
"I think India will win the series 5-0," Sehwag said.
The biggest positive for India in the series has been a potent bowling attack, led by young wrist spinners - Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Chahal and Kuldeep have so far taken 10 wickets in the first two matches, helping India defended low scores of 164 (revised target in 21 overs in Chennai) and 252 at Eden Gardens.
Australia have found it hard to solve the mystery around chinaman Kuldeep, who on Thursday became the third Indian bowler after Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev to take a hat-trick in 50 overs cricket. Kuldeep is also the first Indian spinner to achieve the milestone in ODI cricket.
Considering India's dominant form, it is hard to find a flaw in the team. However, Sehwag pointed out that it is the middle order where India need to improve. Both Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey have not made any contribution to the team's cause so far and to keep their places they have to do something worthwhile.
"The middle order did not perform well in the first two ODIs and Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav should take advantage of the chances given to them. Both have been flops till now," he said.
Sehwag once again lavished praise on Kohli and said he is the main reason behind India's dominant run.
"Virat Kohli knows how to bring a game under his control and that's why India is on its winning streak," he said.