NAGPUR // Explosive India opener Virender Sehwag has been declared fit for the second one-day international against Sri Lanka today. Sehwag hurt a knee in Tuesday's opening game in Rajkot after striking a magnificent 146 that helped India post their highest one-day total of 414 for seven. India survived a thrilling Sri Lankan chase to win a dramatic game by three runs and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
"Viru [Sehwag] is fit to play as of now," India captain MS Dhoni said on the eve of the day-night match in the central Indian city of Nagpur. However, Yuvraj Singh was a doubt after the left-handed middle-order batsman was diagnosed with flu, said Dhoni. Yuvraj also sat out of the opening one-day game with a finger injury. The batsman, though, will be missed more than anything else for his fielding prowess especially at a time when the hosts have been shoddy on the field.
India dropped three simple chances during Sri Lanka's run chase in Rajkot. But their on-field display was the worst in the two Twenty20 games last week during which they dropped six catches and missed several run-out opportunities. "We were fielding well in patches and not dropping catches at the international level," Dhoni said yesterday. "You may drop the odd difficult catch but straightforward chances need to be taken. In the last three to four games we have dropped a lot of regulation catches. Of course it bothers me.
"At the same time it will be solved at some point because of the effort that we are putting in. We are hoping we don't drop catches in this game." Dhoni added that on batting wickets like the one in Rajkot, the key was to stop singles. "Normally you don't get wickets like that. It was not a big ground with the straight boundary not more than 60 to 65 yards. Since the wicket was so nice, it was easy for the batsmen to clear the field. But it's important not to give easy singles."
The tourists suffered setbacks on Wednesday when their off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and fast bowler Dilhara Fernando were ruled out of the rest of the series with finger injuries. Sri Lanka have had a disappointing tour so far, having lost the three-Test series 2-0, while the two-match Twenty20 series was drawn 1-1. * With agencies