Psychological Threat of Sehwag and how to Counter it
One of the biggest threat to Pak is the onslaught that Sehwag is capable of against Pakistani Medium pacers like Gul and Junaid - He has had a psychological upper hand over Pak medium pacers for almost a decade now and I think even though he is out of form - he is being played only because of the fear that he has been able to put in Pak medium pacers and the helplessness that he injects in the pak 11 just because of his innings of even under 50 runs.
His success is partially due to the fact that Pak attack is mostly lead by bowlers who can not perform under the pressure and Gul is specially suspect against any batsman who goes after him - gul's biggest weakness is his inability to come back after he has been taken for runs in his first couple of overs and that has been taken advantage by several teams and in particular by Indian team.
- One of the things that I can think of to counter a sehwag's onslaught is by not going after him in a way that he expects, so If I am leading the team, I would ask Gul to start around the wicket and angle the ball across from him while bringing an odd one back hoping to go through the gap between bat and pad. The balls going across him will tempt him to go for his favorite area from point to covers, the area that he has been able to just slap the ball very successfully over a decade against Pak but having Gul come around the wicket the angle would be different and the ball would not just sit up in-front of of him - the way it would if Gul bowls over the wicket.
- Second idea would be to open with Hafeez (if Raza was in the 11 I wouldnt even think about any option other than Raza). This way you are not providing Sehwag any pace to work with and in frustration and in attempt to dominate the Pakistanis which he has successfully done for a decade, he might get tempted into doing something stupid. I personally do not see Hafeez doing that because I am fully aware of the level of bravery and leadership skills (or lack thereof) that he posses.
One of my friends said "And itís not like we havenít defeated India enough. I think weíve beaten them on a couple of occasions, on a lot of occasions, in fact."