'I hope to to be fit by Aus series'

Dashing opener to feature for Delhi in CL T20

 
The Champions League T20 tournament due to be held in October should  provide the  prefect stage for Virender Sehwag to attain full fitness. “I am not yet fit for international cricket. But I would be fully fit for the series against Australia,” said Sehwag here in presence of the BCCI chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

Sehwag also said that he would play in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament for the Delhi Daredevils after leading the Rest of India side against Ranji Trophy champion Mumbai in the five-day Irani Cup tie, beginning on October 1 in Nagpur.

“I will play in the Champions League and in the Irani Cup match. There I’m captaining the side and would be fielding in the slips or other close-in positions,” he said on sideline of a promotional event.

The flamboyant batsman, who would turn 31-years-old on October 20, has not played international cricket since he suffered a shoulder injury during the second edition of Indian Premier League in May.

Sehwag, who has two Test triple centuries, missed India’s short visit to the West Indies, the triangular ODI series in Sri Lanka and also the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.

Sehwag reiterated he had never said he was not interested in leading the country, but only indicated that he was not keen to be vice-captain as a younger player should be groomed to take over the reign from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in future.

“I never said I did not want India captaincy. I only said in that interview I did not want to be the vice captain as I want someone younger to be groomed for the job,” he said.

On relinquishing the captaincy in IPL, Sehwag said, “For two years we did not qualify for the finals. It seems my luck is not there. I don’t know where I would go after this year (as there’s going to be a second grand auction for all players after the 2010 edition). That’s why I refused captaincy.

He praised his Delhi and India team-mate Gautam Gambhir by saying the left handed opener was “a good cricketer with good brain.”

Sehwag described the upcoming Champions League as a good opportunity for youngsters to grab the attention of selectors.

“For youngsters it offers good opportunity to play in front of TV audience and big crowds. Performing well in the Champions League or IPL counts. It’s a good platform for the youngsters,” he said. Sehwag was confident India, even without him and two other key members -- Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh, was capable of doing well in the Champions Trophy.

“I am confident we will play well against Pakistan. We have always done well against them in the World Cup, Champions Trophy and World T20. Just because two-three of us are not there does not mean we will not play well,” he said.

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