I let the team down: Sehwag

“I am disappointed not because I got out for 99 but because today’s day could have been very good for us if we were only one or two down at stumps,” said Sehwag, who came into the second Test with scores of 109, 165 and 109 in his three previous Tests. “We had a great opportunity to post a big total. Thanks to Sachin, 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.”

Paying Tendulkar the ultimate compliment, Sehwag went on, “It is difficult to say what we learnt from watching him bat today, but we hear him in the dressing room every day, and that is the equivalent of learning. Even today, there is as much hunger as there is in a youngster. Looking at Suresh Raina and Tendulkar batting today, it was difficult to figure out who was making his debut. The big plus point about Sachin is that whenever he gets down to playing, it is as if he is playing his first game.”

Many batsmen profess to not watching the scoreboard when they bat. Sehwag, as is his wont, showed refreshing candour. “I was watching the scoreboard every time, I knew the score. Sometimes, I was counting my runs too, especially in the 80s. Who knows, the scorer might sometimes make a mistake! “Now that I have played so many Test matches, nobody in the dressing room perhaps tells me I have missed out on a hundred,” he replied when asked what the dressing room reaction was upon his return to the pavilion. “It was there in big letters for everyone to see that I had made just 99.”

Sehwag was stumped charging debutant Suraj Randiv off the offie’s first delivery of the day. “I read it. I knew it was the doosra, but I went for the shot,” he shrugged his shoulders, then disagreed that the Sri Lankan spinners had bowled better than the Indian spinners. “Mine was a bad shot and VVS Laxman’s decision was doubtful. And Rahul’s dismissal… It was not the bowlers who forced the mistake, it was the batsmen who made mistakes. When we were bowling, they didn’t make any mistakes, which is why they scored 640. Hopefully, we will not make the same mistakes in the next innings.” The dasher said he still saw a result out of this game. “By the fourth and fifth days, spinners will get more help. It will be more difficult to bat on the fourth evening and the fifth day. I am hoping the track will crack up. Already, the cracks were opening up, so I am hoping there will be a result.”
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