Videos of previous tons helped Sehwag regain touch
Virender Sehwag had gone 741 days and 16 Tests without a century, but all it took, he said, was to watch the videos of his last ten centuries to realise he needed to bat cautiously against the new ball.
"I have to thank DJ [CKM Dhananjay, India's analyst]," Sehwag said. "He gave the videos of the last ten matches [possibly he meant centuries, because he has not scored a century in the last ten] and whenever I played ten overs quietly I scored a big hundred. We were watching videos last night till 11pm. I realised that if I played the new ball cautiously it's good for me and good for the team. I'm very pleased that Gautam [Gambhir] also scored runs and we gave a very good start. It's a good sign."
Sehwag said the century had come at the right time. "This is my 23rd hundred," he said. "I am very happy to score a hundred after a long time. I am very pleased that it came at the right time, the first innings of the first Test. Right we are now in good position, hopefully we will build on tomorrow, and bowl well. We know we have to bowl well because the wicket is on the slower side."
Sehwag said the pitch was slow and scoring runs and taking wickets was going to be difficult, never mind his run-a-ball 117.
"It's not easy, because the wicket is on the slower side," he said. "It's difficult to play your shots. They set the field with everybody on the [boundary] line, especially deep point and deep square leg, so it's not easy to hit boundaries, but you have to back yourself and play your shots. After 50 I relaxed, got little more confident, and played a few shots. I hit 14 or 18 in a Tim Bresnan over and got more confident. But the wicket is very slow and the ball is not coming on to the bat, and difficult to hit the ball."
Sehwag said India were far from having sealed the decisive advantage. Asked if the game was as good as over, Sehwag said, "I don't think so, because we have to work hard to take 20 English wickets. They are not Bangladesh or somebody else. They are a very good side, No. 2 at the moment. They will not throw their wickets for sure."
Sehwag also said - at least on day one - that a batsman could pitch his tent if he decided not to play shots. "The first three batsmen got out trying to hit the ball," he said. "If you're just blocking it's difficult to get out. If you play your shots and make a mistake then you can get out. Wicket is very slow, it's not turning sharply, it's not coming quickly. If you show some patience you can score some runs as well."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo