Former India opener Virender Sehwag is confident that the current Test team under Virat Kohli has the quality in its pace attack to win outside the sub-continent just like Sourav Ganguly’s team did during 2000-2004.The Test team under Kohli has been invincible at home, having thrashed South Africa and New Zealand by identical margins of 3-0 and is also on a roll against England leading the five-match series 2-0. (Current Indian Test team has potential to succeed abroad: Rahul Dravid)”I believe this team under Virat Kohli has the quality and capability of winning Test matches outside the sub-continent. They can definitely emulate the performances of the team that played under Sourav Ganguly and won Test matches in England and Australia,” Sehwag told PTI during an interaction.For the dashing opener, what sets Kohli’s team apart is the quality in pace attack that has forced someone like Ishant Sharma to wait in the wings. (Captain courageous Virat Kohli best in the business right now)”The potential of the batting unit with Kohli as the leader, we have all seen. You need a good bowling attack to take wickets. We have a brilliant bowler like Mohammed Shami. We have Umesh Yadav and someone like Ishant Sharma, who can also win India matches.”There is no reason why they can’t replicate their performances at home in overseas conditions,” said Sehwag.Sehwag also spoke about young sensation Rishabh Pant, who already has scored 900-plus runs in Ranji Trophy and looks upto the ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ for inspiration. (Virat Kohli’s passion for winning Test matches is unreal: Sourav Ganguly to India Today)advertisement”Rishabh’s future is very bright. He will certainly play for India. In my career, I have not seen cases where people have performed consistently and yet did not get a chance at the highest level,” said Sehwag, who has scored 8586 Test and 8273 ODI runs with 38 international hundreds.”There is a process in place for everything. Rishabh has to maintain this consistency and before one plays for India, there is India A. He will certainly get his chance to play for India A. He has to utilise that and I believe no one can then stop him from playing for India,” Sehwag said.In the UAE to promote tennis ball cricket tournament – 10 Premier League or 10PL, Sehwag spoke about his teenage days in Najafgarh when he played a lot of tennis ball tournaments. The tournament is being promoted by Petromann, a UAE based oil and gas company. (We are seeing the best of Virat Kohli now: Nasser Hussain to India Today)”There wasn’t use to be individual payments at that point of time in mid and late 90’s in Delhi’s tennis ball tournaments. The tournaments I played had the winning team getting a purse of Rs 2100, Rs 3100 which would be divided among 11 players.”I, in fact, played a tennis ball tournament after playing for India. Post 2000, tennis ball cricket also became a career for a lot of players with prize money shooting up to Rs 51,000. But 250,000 Dirham for tennis ball event is unheard of,” said Sehwag. (Pacers in form, spinners delivering India a complete team: Nasser Hussain to India Today)So will he be interested in playing in a such tennis ball tournament where one can find him hitting sixes and fours.”Why not? I would love to play such a tournament. People throng to the grounds to see a Dhoni, Tendulkar or a Sehwag hit sixes and fours. Tennis ball is a different pressure. People won’t be happy for anything less than sixes and fours,” Sehwag signed off.
India set up a title clash against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy after a clinical performance in the semi-final against Bangladesh.India defeated Bangladesh by nine wickets thanks to a century by Rohit Sharma and an unbeaten 96 by captain Virat Kohli.Harbhajan Singh, speaking to India Today, said India have the best batting line-up and if Pakistan want to challenge them for the title on Sunday, they would need to play the best game of their lives.WATCH VIDEO HERE”Pakistan will have to play the best game of their life to win. They have a good side but they will have to play well,” he said.”Pakistan will actually put up a better fight than the last game they played against India, but I still don’t feel they have that quality side to beat India. I feel that India will win the final,” added.The veteran off-spinner stressed on the fact that Pakistan will need to bowl well against India to win and the only way Pakistan will stop India is by taking two to three wickets in the first 20 overs.”If they don’t take those wickets, they will be in big trouble.”The toss will play a huge factor and the team winning the toss would be in an advantageous position, believes Harbhajan.”I would like to bat first against Pakistan and get 350 on the board and let them chase and we know that getting them under pressure they don’t score big runs. I have played county cricket there, for two years at the Oval for Surrey. It’s probably one of the best batting pitches in England.advertisement”All the Indian batsmen will enjoy playing there and Pakistan will have to have a top bowling attack to stop India from scoring 300 runs, if at all they want to get into the game,” said Harbhajan, elaborating his plan for India in the final.”Under 300, Pakistan have a chance. More than 300 I don’t think Pakistan would have any chance.”Talking about the Indian batting line-up, which he hails as the best in the world, he said, “The Indian batting line-up is unstoppable, everyone is in good knick, especially the opening partners, Rohit and Shikhar are doing a great a job for India and Virat is playing as usual, brilliant innings in the middle. Yuvraj played well against Pakistan, after that he didn’t get too many chances in the middle to bat. He looked good the other day against Sri Lanka. This Indian batting line-up, these guys are ready for any sort of bowling line-up.”The main concern for Harbhajan is The Oval pitch, and has first hand experience as he played for Surrey, and the Indian batsmen have been born and bred on such pitches.”It’s been a tournament where it’s been easy to score runs. Obviously it’s for a batsman to go out there and explore their options of scoring runs from all the sides. The kind of wicket we saw today, similar to Rajkot and Oval is not a different wicket. Lot of scopes are there to score, a lot of boundaries to hit. It’s an easy sort of track for batsmen to score runs, but difficult for bowlers to stop any batsman, not just Indian batsman.Talking about India’s semi-final match against Bangladesh, he said, “At one stage Bangladesh was going really strong, they were 150 odd for 2 and suddenly Kedar Jadav came in and bowl, though we criticise him for his bowling, today he came out and got the two crucial wickets for India. That actually changed the game for India and from there Bangladesh didn’t get to settle in the middle and didn’t get as many as they should have. Even 320 odd, India would have chased to be honest. Rohit the way he was hitting the ball and Virat, they were unstoppable.”