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

Carefree Sehwag unconcerned by missed ton

21

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

  • catalyst213 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.

  • Joby_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.GOMES on July 29, 2010, 4:08 GMT

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

  • SaKiran 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.Bhandari 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...

  • prasant69 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

  • 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

  • catalyst213 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.

  • catalyst213 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.

  • 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 ..

  • catalyst213 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.

  • Joby_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.GOMES on July 29, 2010, 4:08 GMT

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

  • SaKiran 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.Bhandari 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...

  • prasant69 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

  • 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

  • catalyst213 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.

  • catalyst213 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.

  • 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 ..

  • on July 29, 2010, 0:00 GMT

    Sehwag crish and clear.... just like his batting. The cool manner in which he bats, has to spread across the rest of the batting line up. Three cheers to Sehwag for his brave attitude.

  • AyrtonS on July 28, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Pity ! In my opinion, Sehwag is the only modern day cricketer that has the ability to break Lara's 400 run record.

    I thought that this was the perfect opportunity for him to do so , but this is why cricket is the wonderful game that it is.

    Hopefully he will get another opportunity in the future.

  • East_West on July 28, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Dravid and Laxman should RETIRE! They are useless! Taking ages to make few runs and can't convert a decent score to avoid a defeat! they have done it in the first test and now they are doing the same! Laxman is known for waiting the team to fail so that he can make 60+ runs and then either end up as NOT OUT or expose all the weak players to bat and end up as NOT OUT! shame on these two who don't any respect to RETIRE like Murali! When is our team going to learn from SACHIN! even at this stage Sachin performs! It's sad that we still dependent on SACHIN but can't say the same about other two DRAVID and LAXMAN! Glad to see Raina doing well! He is a class material!

  • on July 28, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    What can anyone say about Sehwag...The man endears himself to you with his attitude towards the game. In these times that dictate a batsmen should worry about averages and centuries, he comes across as a man interested in playing the game on his own terms. But when he gets going...a sight to be seen from miles around. Not for him the grinding down of bowling attacks, he prefers to completely decimate them both physically and mentally.

  • vkbhawnani on July 28, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    Genuine Sehwag's superb innigs..nd sachin rocks lanka too..

  • _csb on July 28, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    "One of them became part of the reason why India find themselves 1-0 down" are you serious? What about the rest 18 wickets? I thought they were the reason!!!

  • Bharat_123 on July 28, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    Well Sehwag is a player I have always admired. Not because of his exhilarating batting but more so his honesty and jolly mood whenever on the cricket field. Even speaking to the press about his batting and matters on the cricket field. He is a top batsman and as Sourav Ganguly said when KKR played DD, 'for a moment we felt Sehwag might take the game away from us, he's a champion batsman'. Now when Sourav Ganguly the most successful captain India has ever had says such a thing, we know Sehwag is something great. Alright he missed out on a 100 and even more on a true batting surface, but I feel he has a massive score in his tank for this series. Come on Viru destroy SL in the last test. After all u won't get another chance batting, cause Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is at the crease. lool

  • on July 28, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    Sehwag comes across as a nice and simple guy...not lot of pretensions

  • Tarzansree on July 28, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    Sehwag bhai, tussi great ho...... I would never want you to change your style...

  • on July 28, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    must read for all cricket lovers!!!

  • Ganes.V on July 28, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    This is how sehwag plays and he is probably correct when he says that heis unconcerned! We have seen him do this many times (almost everytime when he is near 100) trying to hit a big one and reach the landmark and he has been successful many times. We still remember the 300+ score against Pakistan when he got to his 100, 200 and 300 I believe with big shots! Well done and well played. While appreciating I also know that it was necessary for India that he stayed there. Good captaincy by Sangakkara by drying the runs for Sehwag by placing fielders all along the rope on both sides for most of his innings. Just a little bit more of application is required especially when he puts the team and country ahead. When a cricketer is very young like 18 or 20 or up to 24 or 25 we may accept that extra little rush of blood but a 31 year old is supposed to be very experienced and he needs to show a little more dedication in situations like this where the team needs him to stay to save the match.

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  • Ganes.V on July 28, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    This is how sehwag plays and he is probably correct when he says that heis unconcerned! We have seen him do this many times (almost everytime when he is near 100) trying to hit a big one and reach the landmark and he has been successful many times. We still remember the 300+ score against Pakistan when he got to his 100, 200 and 300 I believe with big shots! Well done and well played. While appreciating I also know that it was necessary for India that he stayed there. Good captaincy by Sangakkara by drying the runs for Sehwag by placing fielders all along the rope on both sides for most of his innings. Just a little bit more of application is required especially when he puts the team and country ahead. When a cricketer is very young like 18 or 20 or up to 24 or 25 we may accept that extra little rush of blood but a 31 year old is supposed to be very experienced and he needs to show a little more dedication in situations like this where the team needs him to stay to save the match.

  • on July 28, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    must read for all cricket lovers!!!

  • Tarzansree on July 28, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    Sehwag bhai, tussi great ho...... I would never want you to change your style...

  • on July 28, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    Sehwag comes across as a nice and simple guy...not lot of pretensions

  • Bharat_123 on July 28, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    Well Sehwag is a player I have always admired. Not because of his exhilarating batting but more so his honesty and jolly mood whenever on the cricket field. Even speaking to the press about his batting and matters on the cricket field. He is a top batsman and as Sourav Ganguly said when KKR played DD, 'for a moment we felt Sehwag might take the game away from us, he's a champion batsman'. Now when Sourav Ganguly the most successful captain India has ever had says such a thing, we know Sehwag is something great. Alright he missed out on a 100 and even more on a true batting surface, but I feel he has a massive score in his tank for this series. Come on Viru destroy SL in the last test. After all u won't get another chance batting, cause Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is at the crease. lool

  • _csb on July 28, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    "One of them became part of the reason why India find themselves 1-0 down" are you serious? What about the rest 18 wickets? I thought they were the reason!!!

  • vkbhawnani on July 28, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    Genuine Sehwag's superb innigs..nd sachin rocks lanka too..

  • on July 28, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    What can anyone say about Sehwag...The man endears himself to you with his attitude towards the game. In these times that dictate a batsmen should worry about averages and centuries, he comes across as a man interested in playing the game on his own terms. But when he gets going...a sight to be seen from miles around. Not for him the grinding down of bowling attacks, he prefers to completely decimate them both physically and mentally.

  • East_West on July 28, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Dravid and Laxman should RETIRE! They are useless! Taking ages to make few runs and can't convert a decent score to avoid a defeat! they have done it in the first test and now they are doing the same! Laxman is known for waiting the team to fail so that he can make 60+ runs and then either end up as NOT OUT or expose all the weak players to bat and end up as NOT OUT! shame on these two who don't any respect to RETIRE like Murali! When is our team going to learn from SACHIN! even at this stage Sachin performs! It's sad that we still dependent on SACHIN but can't say the same about other two DRAVID and LAXMAN! Glad to see Raina doing well! He is a class material!

  • AyrtonS on July 28, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Pity ! In my opinion, Sehwag is the only modern day cricketer that has the ability to break Lara's 400 run record.

    I thought that this was the perfect opportunity for him to do so , but this is why cricket is the wonderful game that it is.

    Hopefully he will get another opportunity in the future.