October 3, 2017 11:16:58 pm
Virender Sehwag is known for not mincing his words on any topic. An instance of that was on display on when he said that he didn’t have any “setting” on India TV. Now, on the same channel, Sehwag said that the Australian players didn’t sledge India in the recently concluded ODI series because they were concerned about their Indian Premier League contracts.
“They (Australian players) are scared because of the next year’s mega IPL auctions. If they had sledged the Indian players in the ODI series, then the Indian franchise owners might think before bidding high for the Australian players. This can also be a reason for them not to get involved in sledging with their Indian counterparts,” said Sehwag. Australian players have traditionally been active in the IPL and stars such as captain Steve Smith and David Warner came to international limelight for the first time in the cash-rich league. Warner, in fact, gained his big-hitting reputation under Sehwag’s captaincy in the Delhi Daredevils. It is only later that he showed that he can perform with equal vigour in all formats of the game.
Sehwag also pointed out that the Australia team no longer have the great players they once used to have because of which they were under considerable pressure. “I think the Australian team was playing under pressure because they don’t have all the great players now. Their team was dependent on two or three players – David Warner, Steve Smith and Aaron Finch,” he said. Australia were thrashed 4-1 in the series. They have looked only a shadow of the all-conquering side that was led by Steve Waugh and later Ricky Ponting and consisted the likes of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Mathew Hayden and Brett Lee among others. The team was known not just for their technical efficiency but also for their on-field aggression.
Steve Smith’s side had been defeated by South Africa at home in a Test series following which they lost another Test series in India 4-1. They were then knocked out of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in the group stage. Before the limited overs series in India, Australia drew 1-1 with Bangladesh in a two-match Test series. The defeat in the first Test was the first time ever that Australia lost a long-form match to Bangladesh.
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