Sehwag bats for review system

"I am a big fan of UDRS. I want it to be there for the India-New Zealand series, India-South Africa series and in the World Cup. But this is my personal opinion," said the star India opener at a media conference here today.

Sehwag, who has been signed up by cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar's company Professional Management Group in a five-year deal for handling his endorsements, said that he favoured the UDRS as he had got the rough end of the umpiring stick on a few occasions in the past.

"I was given out two times when I was not out and in such a situation could have gone in for a referral that would have helped me continue to bat," said the opener, who often makes attack his first form of defence.

Tendulkar, whom Sehwag described as his idol, has consistently been opposed to UDRS as he is not certain the technology has become fool-proof to depend on it for the TV umpire to take a referral call on appeals involving more than close run-outs, stumpings and bump ball "catches".

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has also been not in favour of the UDRS but another senior cricketer Rahul Dravid had recently expressed his support for the referrals.
The Indian cricket board has also consistently opposed its introduction in bilateral series after the team got the rough end of the referrals in the series in Sri Lanka in 2008, when Dhoni took a break.

Currently a tug-of-war is on between the BCCI and Cricket South Africa over the use of UDRS during India's visit to the Rainbow nation in December-January with the visiting team's board not in favour and the hosts wanting it.

India's tour of South Africa begins with the first of the three Tests at Centurion on December 16. The International Cricket Council has left it to the two boards to decide with the onus left on the home board, CSA, to do so in consultation with BCCI.

"The BCCI is still not convinced about the reliability of the technology in the Umpires Decision Review System. We would leave it to the BCCI and Cricket South Africa to come to an understanding (whether to use it or not)," said ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat at a media conference in Mumbai on October 27.

Lorgat was optimistic that India would finally get around to accepting the UDRS in every series they play.

"A lot of players are happy with the system. I am confident in due course the BCCI would give consent (to use the system)," said Lorgat. Sehwag also said that his idol Tendulkar was the lone batsman capable of completing a century of centuries in international cricket.

"Only (cricketing) god can do it and that's why I'm certain he will do it. He's been my role model and I am very lucky to be playing with him. If anyone can do it, it's Sachin Tendulkar," he gushed.

The champion batsman, named ICC's Cricketer of the Year recently, is only five tons short of completing this historic feat. His ton tally includes 49 in Test cricket.

Sehwag said it was up to the Indian board and the team management to decide whether to give rest to the seniors during the ODI series that follows the three-Test series against New Zealand commencing at Ahmedabad on November 4.

"We would like to play a full team against New Zealand but the schedule is such that a break may be needed. It's up to the team management and the BCCI to decide on the matter. I would like to play as many ODIs as I can. But if the team management and the BCCI want us to go early to South Africa we will do it," he said.

Indian coach Gary Kirsten had written a letter some months ago to the Board requesting to send the team one week earlier than planned to South Africa to acclimatise and prepare for the tough Test series.

He had also wanted his team to play ODIs before Tests against New Zealand which has not happened.

Captain Dhoni had said in Goa on October 23 that so far no communication had been sent by the players to the Board or vice versa on the issue.

"Not done (written to the Board) anything like that as of now. No confirmation has been sent from the players' side to the BCCI yet and nothing has been received from the BCCI either. This is what I have to say," he said on the eve of the third and final ODI against Australia that was abandoned due to a wet outfield following unseasonal rains.

The India captain also said the team was focusing on the Test series and will then take a call on the matter of seniors leaving early for SA by skipping the ODI series against New Zealand.

"Tomorrow's game is more important to us right now rather than thinking about what to do after the New Zealand series," Dhoni said in Goa.

"As I always say, I don't think too much about the future. After that (ODI series v Australia) what is important is the utilisation of the 4-5 days' break that we have got, then concentrate on the Test series (v NZ). And after that if we get some time we will see what can be done and what needs to be done," he added.

Yesterday, Tendulkar too said that the decision to skip the last two ODI series had been taken by him only at the eleventh over and was not pre-determined.

"The decision to skip the last two ODI series was taken at the last moment and was not pre-decided. My kit always contained coloured pads," Tendulkar told reporters here.

"I have been playing cricket for some time now. If I was not playing cricket there would be something to think about. Having been around for some time, I know how to adjust to the formats," he added.

The 37-year-old batting icon also said he would follow whatever was needed to keep himself in prime condition for the all-important 2011 World Cup in the sub-continent.
"I know my body. I would do whatever is needed for the World Cup and it won't be pre-decided," said Tendulkar trying to nip the issue in the bud.

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