India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 4th day December 8, 2012

India batsmen 'not an embarrassment' - Sehwag


Virender Sehwag has called for more patience from India's batsmen, which they can learn from their England counterparts, but he knows it can only help them in the upcoming matches. About this Test, he merely stated he wasn't an atheist. "We have to work hard in the next game," he said. "We are still fighting. Hopefully something happens tomorrow and we can save the match, but I… only god can help us."

In his press conference, Sehwag said at least three times that the batsmen lacked patience. Asked if it was embarrassing that a No. 8, R Ashwin, made batting look easier than the specialist batsmen, Sehwag said: "It's not embarrassment. He is also part of our team. He is a good player. He knows how to score runs and how to survive. Depends on an individual to individual. My batting style is different, and others are different, and Ashwin's is different. If you apply yourself on that wicket, it's not difficult to score runs.

"It's Test cricket, and if you show some patience, you can score some runs on this wicket. Key was patience."

When asked how the England bowlers managed to make the pitch look more threatening, Sehwag chose to focus on the batsmen. "Their batsmen showed patience more than ours," he said. "Their batsmen batted really well. Full credit to the way Cook batted and everyone else batted. Our bowlers did everything, they tried everything. They bowled slow, they bowled quick, they bowled flighted, they bowled flat, but England batted really well, I can say that.

"We tried everything. When we were bowling, the ball started reversing after 10 overs. They played well also. They showed patience. They waited for loose balls, they hit those loose balls. We didn't show enough patience."

Sehwag said the youngsters in the middle order needed time before being judged. "When [Cheteshwar] Pujara scored runs, double hundred and hundred, you guys only said we have found a replacement for Rahul Dravid," he said. "You didn't wait for a couple of matches. Now you are saying that because Rahul Dravid and [VVS] Laxman are not there we are losing. It is a transition period for us, you have to give time to the youngsters.

"We will bounce back, we will score runs. In this series we haven't put runs on the board, especially in the last two games. The moment we put up the runs, 500-plus, it's a different ball game."

Asked if he would consider moving down the order to lend experience to the middle order, Sehwag said it was not about experience. "Yuvraj Singh has played 40 Tests, Virat Kohli has played 13," he said. "He has been playing international cricket for two, three years. He got that ICC cricketer of the year and the BCCI award. He is mature enough. It's not about new and young."

Sehwag might have been struggling outside Asia but he looks every bit a dangerous player on pitches lacking bounce and lateral movement. Once again he got India off to a good start, but his wicket led to a big collapse. Asked if he felt India relied too much in him, Sehwag said, "Our team is very good team. We have six batsmen who are capable of scoring hundreds and double hundreds. It's not that they are depending on me. It's a team game."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anit on December 11, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    Shewag's statement itself is an embarrassment. It only shows denial to accept results of non-performance. As long as players have this type of attitude and mindset, no improvements can be expected. He scored his quota of one century in 10 matches on subcontinent pitch. He is feeling secure for the next 10 matches. What else can be said with such irresponsible statement. BTW, I doubt Shewag can score any test century in England, Aussie, SA or even NZ.

  • Anthony on December 10, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    Best way I can sum up this article (and other recent comments from Dhoni & Ghambir) is to say the inmates are running the asylum. England has simply outworked India in this series, and the Indian players are content to keep their heads buried in the sand.

  • Chetan on December 10, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    Viru, Pujara & Kohli can be considered new-comers. What about Sehwag, Gambhir AND God - Sachin Tendulkar? How come you guys don't stand up & get yourselves counted as people who can score OR at least occupy the crease ? 3 of you have been there for long enough to know what you are telling the media after the match (clear message that you knew what was required, how come none of you saw fit to apply the requisite self-discipline ?) ....Or is it that you are sure Dhoni will not be able to drop you so why bother ?

  • shyam on December 10, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    I am all for wholesome changes in the team. Anyways our guys are all playing hard, but still loosing. What worse can the new team do, only loose, maybe by a bigger margin. My advice, pick the new team of players, who have not yet made their first million. Atleast they will try and strive hard for couple of seasons.

  • FS on December 10, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    Oh, really ? And along with the crappy performance, we now have to listen to this crap. Do you ever read these comments, Viru ? If you did, you'd be embarrassed.

  • kam on December 10, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Certainly Dhoni has been a failure both as batsman and wicket-keeper for a long time but can't be blamed alone for the team failure. What role a captain has to play when the specialist batsmen of his team don't perform as they should? Indian selectors watch players' past statistics rather than their current form. Sachin and Sehwag should have been dropped long ago whenever they were out of form and try out regularly new-comers so that in times like this, a set of new talents (like Kohli and Ashwin) would be available. I've scarcely seen Sachin playing scoring runs in difficult situation and what a farce Sehwag speaking of 'patience'! The pity of India is that they are condemned to continue with the same guys or gamble on those who've not yet acquired enough international exposure and hence reliability. Its a result of lack of the Selection's long-term sightedness. And who knows if its not a deliberate foul!!

  • Karthik on December 10, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    I wonder where all those ipl fans have disappeared now. Over the last few months, on every single issue starting from DRS to overseas perfromance, cricinfo has been flooded with comments from fans claiming India's clout was making others jealous. Now when the dismal perfromance of the team has come to the forefront, hopefully the bcci will wake up and give up its arrogant stand as it seems to have seeped down to its players as well.

  • JIGNESH on December 10, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    Yes, Mr. Sehwag is right about not embarrassment about this performance. They haven't embarrassed in last 2 out-side sub-continent tours (ENG-AUS), where they suffered the white wash in all format of cricket, then why they should be embarrass here where they won the first game, and one more game left to square the series. After all they are not No. 1 side anymore now....this is a taunt. We all know the entire Indian team including Mr. Cold (Dhoni) depending on you(Sehwag). When Sehwag blasts century (rarely these days), entire team plays well and reach 500+ score. And when Sehwag gets failed(Single figure mostly these days), the team barely reach 300+ score. So, what does that mean? The entire team India depend on Sehwag's score. India should fire Gambhir, and put Ashwin as an opener with Sehwag. Kohli and Yuvi never become the test experts.....drop Zaheer...he is old, lazy and ineffective. Include SK Patel as a wicket-keeper. Drop Dhoni.....he has zero skill playing shots.

  • Pad on December 10, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    I tell you.... India should loose this series!! Its the best thing that could happen to test cricket in India for a bighter future... Fundementals get questioned only at the face of adversity and not prosperity!!!!

  • cric on December 10, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    @People complaining about Sehwag's fielding, he is the only decent slip fielder India has at the moment. When you play two spinners, you need a sharp catcher at slips and he is one of the best in the business. His batting is a delight to watch and if only he can add a bit of caution and not throw away his wicket in T20 fashion, I can sense a big score coming in Nagpur. Gambhir on the other hand is a total enigma. Running the bowl down to the third man has cost him his wicket umpteen no. of times and now he has developed a new talent for running out his partner. I seriously think we should get Rahane in as an opener who has a better technique and slot Gambhir down the order in place of Yuvi. He plays spin well and can make a big contribution down the order. Any one listening?

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