The conditions were perfect for seam and swing bowling, the pitch was an excellent one for spinners, and Australia had champion bowlers to exploit both. All that didn't matter one bit to Virender Sehwag, though, who came up with another characteristically flamboyant knock. He had an especially good time against Brett Lee and Shane Watson, blasting 57 off the 50 balls he played from them. Glenn McGrath went for 13 from 16, while the spinners were far more effective in stopping his runs, going for only six from 16. And Sehwag's scoring rate off good-length balls from the fast bowlers is a fair indication of his mind-set at the crease.
The wagon-wheel shows Sehwag's strength square of the off side. Of the 14 fours he hit in his innings, 12 came in the arc between third man and cover.
Sehwag's 76 lifted his first-innings stats to 2718 runs from 37 tries at an average of 73.46. Eighteen of his 20 fifty-plus scores in Tests have been in the first innings. In the second innings he averages a paltry 25.66, a stat he'll surely have the opportunity to improve upon over the next couple of days.
McGrath continued his stranglehold over Rahul Dravid. Since September 2001, McGrath has bowled 156 deliveries to Dravid, conceded 24 runs, and dismissed him thrice - that's an average of eight runs per wicket, and less than a run per over.