ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Bangladesh v India, World Cup 2011, Mirpur

'I didn't think about the double-century' - Sehwag

Sidharth Monga at the Shere Bangla Stadium

February 19, 2011

Comments: 65 | Text size: A | A

Virender Sehwag might have taken extra care to make sure he batted deep into India's innings at Mirpur, but when it comes to his press conferences, middle overs continue to remain conspicuous in their absence. He talks like he bats, and after his 175 - his longest one-day innings in terms of runs, balls faced, and overs elapsed - his reaction was: "I am happy that at least once in my career I have batted 47 overs." That was followed by a warning: "I was planning to bat 50 overs. I couldn't do that, but hopefully I will do so in coming games."

That came moments after a similarly forthright show at the presentation ceremony, where he said, "Everyone did well, other than Sreesanth." He also said this was a grudge match after India's defeat to Bangladesh in the 2007 World Cup, something not many like to admit. He also maintained that Bangladesh are not a good Test side. "They can compete in ODIs, but today they could not."

Inside the press-conference room, the fun continued. The mix-up with Sachin Tendulkar, which resulted in the latter's run-out, was delightfully explained. "We discussed we will take it easy on singles," Sehwag said. "He was calling, and I was not listening, and I was looking at the ball, yeah. For a fraction of a second I thought I had made a mistake, but you know when I went to the dressing room, he said, 'It's okay. What's important is to win the game for the country. It's not important who is performing.'"

In Christchurch, in 2009, when Tendulkar retired hurt on 163 at the end of the 45th over, Sehwag told him he had missed out on a double-century. At 175 in the 47th over, Sehwag said he himself didn't think of that mark. "Not at all. When he came back not out, eight or nine overs were left. When I came back, three overs were left, and I still had 25 to get. I would have had to play 15 out of those 18 balls, so I wasn't thinking of the double-hundred. My target was to bat 50 overs, no matter how much I score."

His own innings, Sehwag termed the most satisfactory "as far as overs are concerned". It was obviously a conscious effort to play a longer innings, and take fewer chances. One of the bigger challenges of such innings is the middle overs, when fields are spread. Sehwag said his plan was to concentrate on taking singles. "It was easy for me to rotate the strike. I think I hit a six on 49, and after that till 75 or 80 I was just rotating the strike because I knew I had to play 30-40 overs, and if I do that I would get a hundred. Still my strike rate was more than 100."

There was praise for the other centurion, Virat Kohli, and not just hollow praise, but analytical appreciation. "Whenever we spoke in the middle, we told each other to not throw our wickets away. I still remember against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy [in Centurion, in 2009], he was playing well, but he played a shot straight to long-off. After that he has scored six hundreds. Sometimes a little nudge is enough for some people. He is a quick learner, and a mature batsman."

The last question to him was if he feels any pressure from the pundits that he is most crucial to India's prospects in the World Cup. Sehwag's dead-pan reply was, "My job is to play and make runs."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 65 
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Posted by JOSEPH on (February 22, 2011, 8:40 GMT)

I know what prompted this comments about Sreesanth, Viru knows Sree is coming between his buddy, Ishant Sharma and Indian Team selection. There is a cocus in the Indian team. Hope Sree will be able to return the comments on his day. But to be frank publicly speaking against your own team mate is bad. Did Tendulkar, Anil Kumble and team mates stood behind Harbhajan in Australia when the world knew Harbhajan has used the M-----y word against Andrew Symonds.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 22, 2011, 8:39 GMT)

foreign medias are trying to give more pressure on indian team coz they are afraid of INDIA. no matter india always do well perform when there is pressure. so no chance you guys...

Posted by ashok on (February 22, 2011, 7:45 GMT)

Who ever and what ever comments, Viru will be Viru and will score runs. All these comments have come from other country (non indian) folks who are AFRAID of Sehwag. 2011 World Cup has been stamped with name "INDIA" the moment it was manufactured period.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 22, 2011, 7:08 GMT)

biru......after scoring 300+ u had to think once a time for 2nd century wah great innings

Posted by JOSEPH on (February 22, 2011, 4:20 GMT)

There are days when Virender doesn't do well and Sreesanth does well. Does Sreesanth point out that in the post match presentation. Press conference is not the place where one should show out their egos. Very bad.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 21, 2011, 14:33 GMT)

Aye Sehwag, totally believe ya on that. Just kidding x)

Posted by krishna on (February 21, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

Well done VIRU ! ! ! Hope you will repeat this every day and you will never have a bad day in future. I came to this conclusion hearing your comments after the match. Better you people keep Sree away from the team. How bad he would have felt when you pointed at him. Its very tough for a player like him to perform. He need to overcome not only the pressure of playing for the first match in World Cup, but also the from his team members acts like this.

Posted by Amar on (February 20, 2011, 23:06 GMT)

@Nipun: Hey dude, if sehwag gets critized for making runs on placid pitches and not bouncy pitches, then shouldn't steyn/morkel be criticized for taking most of their wickets on bouncy pitches and getting hammered on placid pitches?.........it works both ways, dude..........Great players are great players no matter what. Of course they will fail a lot of times but they have the ability to shine more often than the mere good players. That's the beauty of a sehwag, sachin, steyn, ponting, kallis, etc........If just turning up on a batting pitch would able you to score tons of runs than the likes of ramesh, ss das, wasim jaffar, chopra, and countless others would have become great batsmen...........

Posted by sayi on (February 20, 2011, 22:29 GMT)

Sehwag, At this moment you don't have fitness to bat 30 overs with out a runner, forget about 50 overs.

Posted by Arif on (February 20, 2011, 21:43 GMT)

I was surprised to see Viru not engage the hook or pull against perhaps the softest of pacers around... will good pacemen not see his discomfort?

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