Virender Sehwag: ' am definitely concerned about my form, but I am confident I can turn it around' © AFP
Virender Sehwag, standing in for Rahul Dravid, said the Indian team were viewing the last three matches of the ODI series against England as a separate contest and his aim was to win 2-0. "We want to win this series as well, we want to win two of the next three matches. Rain permitting, we will play our best eleven, though we will also rest some players and give those who haven't played a game yet a chance to show what they are capable of."

Commenting on his own form he said, "No-one is ever satisfied with his form. Everyone is expecting a lot from me, and I know that I have not lived up to expectations. I am hoping to do my best tomorrow and over the next two or three games. Captaincy is not a burden on me. I am very clear in my mind, and I know that I have to perform. There is no specific problem as such. I feel it is just a mater of one innings. If I stay at the crease for an hour, I will make runs. In this series, I have got off to starts but I couldn't convert them. But I am pretty confident that it is just a matter of time."

When pointedly asked about his tendency to be dismissed by the incoming delivery he said, "Everyone has a problem with the incoming delivery. If you are going through a bad patch, everything is against you. Before this series, I had never been dismissed off a short delivery bowled by a spinner -- I have got out to short balls from the pacemen -- but in the last game, I fell to a short ball from a spinner (Ian Blackwell). When things don't go your way, that's what happens. I am definitely concerned about my form, but I am confident I can turn it around."

Sehwag also defended Mohammad Kaif, who has gone through a rougher patch than the stand-in captain. "He has done well in the past, he has won matches for the country," said Sehwag. "You can't drop someone because he has failed in three or four matches when he has done well for the team on so many occasions. It is important to keep the winning combination intact, and you can't ignore the fact that Kaif is also a brilliant fielder. No player can perform in every match, not even Sachin Tendulkar who is the best batsman in the world. Kaif is going through a difficult time, which happens to every cricketer. He is working hard on his game with the coach, he is too good a player not to start scoring runs quickly."

Sehwag also added that his mindset walking out to bat had not changed either because of the captaincy or because of his lean trot. "The coach gives you confidence, he keeps telling you that you are a very good player and that you have done well in the past," he said. "That gives you confidence, it helps you maintain focus and stay positive."

Sehwag patiently addressed the media though the team had not come to the ground for practice. Only Harbhajan Singh, along with John Gloster, Ian Frazer and Greg King, from the Indian team, came to the venue. The whole England team came to have a look at conditions but no-one addressed the normally customary pre-match press conference.

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo