Field placings matter little to aggressive Sehwag
Virender Sehwag's verbal reaction to defensive/attacking fields to him is as emphatic as it was with the bat. The Indian opening batsman, overnight on 97, went on to score 109 and set the platform for India to gain a slender lead on the third day.
"I was looking for opportunities to score runs wherever I could," Sehwag said of what he was trying to do when, for the third time in the series, he faced short and wide deliveries with a square third man, a deep point and a sweeper-cover in place. "If fielders are there I can hit towards mid-off, midwicket or mid-on. Whatever reasons. Because I don't want to, you know, play boring Test cricket."
Sehwag also spoke of his superb run of form against Sri Lanka. In the last five Tests against India's most regular opponents, Sehwag has scored four centuries, including a 293, and one 99.
"I have been playing the same way as I was against other countries. I am not changing anything. The moment I hit two or three boundaries in an over, they spread the field, bowl outside off, bowl short-pitched [deliveries], then it's not easy to get batsmen out to those deliveries. If you are lucky, if I make a mistake, then I will get out."
On the third day here, though, it wasn't defensive tactics that got Sehwag's wicket. Suraj Randiv was persistent in his attack, and got sharp turn. Sehwag took his chance to go inside-out, but wasn't quite to the pitch of the ball and he holed out to mid-off. With the ball, though, he put India's noses slightly ahead, bowling sharp and quick offspin to remove Tharanga Paranavitana and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Sehwag said chasing more than 200 could be tricky to chase on this pitch.
"We are bowling in good areas, we are getting help from the wicket," Sehwag said. "In the morning tomorrow, if we get Mahela [Jayawardene] and Sanga [Kumar Sangakkara] out early, then I think we will be in the game. But we must bowl tight because we must not concede too many runs, and yet take wickets regularly."
Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo