Sri Lanka v India, 2nd Test, SSC, 3rd day July 28, 2010

Carefree Sehwag unconcerned by missed ton


To listen to Virender Sehwag is to realise that perhaps we take our game too seriously. That, after all is said and done, it is just a sport. Two matches in a row he has thrown away his wicket with the bowlers at his mercy. One of them became part of the reason why India find themselves 1-0 down in the series, the other hasn't been as fatal, thanks to Sachin Tendulkar. At least that's what it looks like now.

In the second of those instances, Sehwag had shown remarkable patience and application in giving India a superb start, but threw it away when he tried to go from 99 to 105 - off the first ball he faced from Suraj Randiv today. The mind was made up to charge at the bowler, he saw a shortish delivery that he couldn't reach, made a last-ditch effort to fetch it and drag it to the on side, and missed the straighter one. He just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Yes I read it. I knew it was the doosra, but I went for the shot."

It is not as if he is irresponsible or mindless. To suggest any of those would be unfair, and disrespectful to one of the sharper brains around. Still he gets really annoyed when all the opposition is trying to do is to contain. He fought his instinct for long durations today, and when he saw a new bowler, he perhaps saw an opportunity for a boundary: he had scored only one in the 16 previous overs.

"I am disappointed," he said. "Not because I was out on 99, but because today's day could have been very good for us if we were one or two down. We had a great opportunity to post a big total. But thanks to Sachin Tendulkar we are back in a good situation. If we play well tomorrow then we can avoid the follow-on and also bat the whole day."

Sehwag didn't quite panic then, at the mammoth Sri Lankan total. "Not really because the wicket is so good to bat on," he said. "I knew somebody will make a big one. I was expecting from VVS [Laxman] and Sachin to complete the hundreds, unfortunately Laxman got out. Full praise to Suresh Raina, he batted really well and scored his fifty. I am hoping that tomorrow morning he will come and complete his hundred."

Sehwag deserves praise for the way he began yesterday himself. It wasn't an easy job to play as aggressively as he did after having spent so much time in the field, and the debacle of the first match. "There was an opportunity if you bat for 18 overs," he said. "You have a chance to score 50. I grabbed the opportunity and scored 60 not out, and I came today morning and tried to score a big one but unfortunately I got out."

Asked if anybody was waiting in the dressing room to pull him up after that dismissal, Sehwag said, "Probably, I have played (too) many Test matches for anybody to come and tell me I have missed a hundred. It is written there in big letters that I made 99."

Thankfully for Sehwag and India, there was Tendulkar to cover up for his error today. Asked if there was anything new to learn from Tendulkar's batting, Sehwag is honest. "It is difficult to say what we have learned from watching him," he says. "Everyday we listen to him in the dressing room, and that is as good as learning.

"Looking at Suresh Raina batting and Tendulkar, it is difficult to say who is making debut. The big plus point is about Sachin is that whenever he gets down to play it is as if he is playing his first game."

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Siraj on July 30, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    Viru is great, the way he plays is great. If someone have a problem with that its mostly the opposition or sometimes someone like Guatum Gambhir during IPL3 when he was blaming Viru for his own failures. Everyone has their own way and Viru's way is the best of all, everyone around the world respects the way he plays and likes him for being him, and thats the best possible compliment one can get.

  • George on July 29, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    Its good to read articles from sehwag as he tells things openly from heart. One thing is sure, there are very few in team india who will try to hit a six while batting on 99 or 199 or 299. He never playes for achievements and iam sure sehwag is the one SL fears more than anyone else

  • V on July 29, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    Yeah sure! Sehwag we believe you,..... NOT.

  • S on July 29, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    Thanks God, India has at least 1 player who does not play for records! I wish he comes good in the future to win many many matches for India.

  • Vivek on July 29, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    Viru is Viru...emotions do not deter him...because they just don't. Period. Unless his 'Sir jee', SRT is approaching a ton...have never seen him getting chirpier when Sachin gets a ton...

    And yes, well said in this article...we sometimes tend to forget that this is a sport, after all...

  • Prasant on July 29, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    sehwag is always no1,he was not in last 2 t20 squard,that's why india lose if sehwag was there that will be the big difference

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    good article, look at it this way we would all cheer if he had made the century with a 6 hey.... guess thats cricket

  • Siraj on July 29, 2010, 2:45 GMT

    leave the man alone shall we !! People around the world try to copy him whether its Dilshan, Watson or Warner and they are all good players. I would rahter watch Golf or Ping Pong than to see someone score a 50 in 200 balls. Viru is an audacious player and a nightmare to most bowlers only for the aggression and natural strokes he plays and he scores quickly. India could never have won against England a couple of years ago when he smashed some 80 odd runs in almost half the balls faced, yes Tendulkar and Yuvi finished it off in style.

  • Siraj on July 29, 2010, 2:32 GMT

    This is the way the man (sehwag) plays, and if had scored a century with a six we would all be reading great articles about him and how he plays. He did his job at the top order 99 runs is substantial and opening stand of 165 was great with vijay. Sehwag played the same way for as long as we all know and he scored big centuries and won a few matches for India and saved a few as well. Sehwag is an entertaining and a naturally aggressive player, one of a kind. It was great to watch his innings and ofcourse it was sad to see him fell one short.

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    Sehawag commenting on Sachin is like some leaf out of Upanishads.. God bless the Guru and his Shishya ..

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