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Sehwag ready to perform under spotlight

The spotlight will be on Virender Sehwag when he turns out for Delhi Daredevils against Victorian Bushrangers in the Champions League Twenty20 Group B enocunter in Friday’s double header at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium.

Though he has handed over the captaincy to Gautam Gambhir to concentrate on his batting, Sehwag would still be the face of Daredevils.

The opener, who has been out of the national team after returning home midway through the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June with a sore shoulder, would like to get back into the groove with a bust cricket season ahead.

Sehwag’s first comeback match was Irani Trophy, but he had very little to do as he was down with fever.

It will be the right outing for Sehwag to test himself against a quality Victoria Bushrangers bowling attack spearheaded by ICC’s ‘Emerging Player of the Year’ Peter Siddle and Shane Harwood.

Daredevils look a formidable side with Gambhir in great touch with the bat. Ashish Nehra and Dirk Nannes are expected to share the new ball. The return of Glenn McGrath will surely add a zing to their bowling.

But the Victorian batting line-up is equally good with top Australian players like David Hussey, Cameron White, Brad Hodge and Andrew McDonald.

It will also be interesting to see the fight between two Victorian coaches. Having coached Daredevils sucessfully in two Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons, Greg Shippered is now back to Victoria while his assistant with the Australian team David Saker is now in charge of the Daredevils.

Saker feels his stint with Bushrangers will stand him in good stead.

“I know as much about the Bushrangers as he knows about the Daredevils, it will be an exciting time because we will know what to tell our sides. This is the first time in our coaching careers that we will be on opposite sides. I have learnt everything from him,” Saker said.

In the other match, reigning Australian domestic Twenty20 champions New South Wales Blues will take on South Africa’s Twenty20 winners Diamond Eagles led by Boeta Dippenaar.

New South Wales Blues led by Simon Katich are a strong contender for the title, having a host of star players — Stuart Clark, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Doug Bollinger to name a few.

Blues’ fast bowling spearhead Lee is raring to go full steam after having made a successful comeback to international cricket with the ODI series in England and the Champions Trophy in South Africa.

Lee said that Blues have done their homework and are ready for the battle.

“We are not playing against the local sides, so there is going to be a lot of research involved. We will do our research on Diamond Eagles today. We would like to concentrate on our strengths and weaknesses,” Lee said.

“We have got a good side with a lot of Australian national team players. Experience counts a lot in any international tournament. We have got a good bowling line-up. Stuart Clark has done a good job for Australia. There is Doug Bollinger who has done some great stuff with New South Wales. It will be a good opportunity for a lot of young guys who will be playing in front of packed Indian crowd,” he said.

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