Sehwag looks for another big hundred

Virender Sehwag said that his goal for the series in the West Indies was a one-day century and two Test centuries. With a 180 in the second Test at St Lucia, Sehwag will now be looking to score a similar big hundred in the next two Tests. "If I have to be a great player, I will have to make big hundreds," Sehwag told Press Trust of India. "If you get out before a century, then it is okay. But once you cross the three figures, it's your best chance to make an even bigger score for the bowling side is looking to contain you rather than get you out. It becomes easy for batsmen."

"One of the things which distinguishes the greats from the ordinary ones is that they don't give up after posting a century," Sehwag added, though refusing to be compared to Sunil Gavaskar and Vijay Merchant at this stage of his career.

With only two centuries in the last 16 innings, Sehwag has come under some criticism and even his position in the side has been questioned. "You have your moments of doubt when you struggle. But I always get motivated by criticism. You actually improve when there is criticism. Your dedication also gets a leg up."

Sehwag did receive advice on his batting from Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, though he said that he only pays heed to advice that fits his batting. "Gavaskar told me early during the one-day series against England that if I stood on my off stump, incoming deliveries would not trouble me as much. It really helped even though there wasn't a big score in Goa.

"When I speak to Tendulkar, he does not speak on technical issues. He says if only I spent time at the wicket, without worrying about runs, wickets or balls, if I concentrate on playing 50 or 100 balls, then my body will start reacting to deliveries on its own."

Sehwag himself advised youngsters in the team to try and stay on till the end of the innings and not throw their wickets away. "I take delight in their good performances. Team is like a family. If you are not happy with a fellow player's success, then you are not a family member. Then even your performance will start going down. Young players should get as much credit as some other players get it."

India lost the one-day series against West Indies 4-1 and Sehwag said that now his strategy in one-day cricket is to stay on for 30 to 40 overs, so that the run-rate will hover around five runs an over, putting the team in a position of advantage.

Against the short ball, Sehwag admitted he had a problem. "Sometimes you can't do anything when a ball comes on to your body but it doesn't happen everyday. On good bouncy tracks, the ball bounces and goes above your head. But in India, or on a track such as St. Lucia's, you can't decide whether to face it or leave it. By then the ball hits your bat and spoons up for a catch."

But when facing fast bowlers, Sehwag tries to "put fear in their hearts." "If he knows that this batsman can hit me for a four or six, your task becomes easier. If you can't do that to a great bowler, he would soon be all over you," he said.