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Cricket: Cold wave outside; heat in the mind?

Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:30am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Indications are that coach Fletcher wants an instant change in India’s ODI combination; result of Kotla game today may not have bearing on selection for England series; out-of-form Sehwag under the scanner

Does coach Duncan Fletcher’s writ run in the dressing room? If you follow Indian cricket, you haven’t yet got an answer. Fletcher is known for his stony silence but after the ODI series loss to Pakistan, something may have snapped.

It appears that the normally reticent Fletcher is now keen to bring in changes, going by an insider’s account of the discussions held after the team’s arrival in here on Friday.
The squad for the ODIs against England will be announced today. Regardless of the outcome of the final one-dayer — India have already lost the series — India’s ODI composition may be reviewed. 
“The coach wants the side to be tweaked but he needs the BCCI and the selectors' backing,” a source told DNA on Saturday after the team’s practice session.
Fletcher, as usual, was quietly watching his players at nets. With skipper MS Dhoni returning to the dressing room owing to a sore back, the focus is on the two Delhi players, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. One of them could lead the side in Dhoni’s absence.
Sehwag, however, has greater concerns. He was reportedly engaged in a deep, hour-long conversation with the two Indian selectors: Vikram Rathore and Saba Karim. Sehwag had two batting sessions. In between both the stints, he was seen only chatting with the selectors. What they may have discussed is anybody’s guess.
His form has been a huge worry and speculations are rife over his likely axe from the ODI team.
Asked whether he was in the firing line, a senior Indian board official said, “There is no doubt that most of the players, including Sehwag, have not delivered in recent times. That is cause for concern. But then such discussions amongst players and selectors keep happening during a tour. We certainly need fresh ideas in the middle and you will see a few heads rolling after
the game.”
The official added, “Don’t expect too many changes overnight. Gambhir’s case is different than that of Sehwag. We don’t have too many options sitting out. It’s not just Sehwag, even players such as Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh or Suresh Raina have failed to lift their game in crises.”
Will the ‘change’ be visible on Sunday itself? We’ll know soon.

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