We have to work really hard to win this match, says Sehwag

Virender Sehwag, who calls it as he sees it, said the current attack of Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, and R. Ashwin was the best Indian bowling unit he had played with.

Sehwag spoke to the press on a day when India's bowlers swung the game after the batting had collapsed. Zaheer Khan was masterly, showing that skill can accomplish much even at medium-pace. Ishant Sharma bowled at high pace, clocking speeds in the late 140s (kmph), at least thrice breaching the 150 mark. Umesh, who had touched 150 in the first innings, hit the 140s as well.

R. Ashwin might have wished for better consistency, but his variation, intelligence, and competitive spirit won praise from the likes of Richie Benaud and Ian Chappell.

“The captain said, ‘just go there and give your best',” said Sehwag, when asked what was said in the dressing room after the batting failure. “‘If we bowl in the right areas, maybe we will get quick wickets'. And the bowlers delivered. Especially in the first spell, Umesh and Ishant and Zak (Zaheer) bowled beautifully. And through the day Ashwin bowled really well.”

Sehwag said anything under 300 could be chased down. “The match is in the balance,” he said. “We have to work really hard to win this. We will have to bat well.”

The Indian opener praised the pitch, saying he enjoyed playing on a wicket that had something for the bowlers rather than flat tracks on which only the batsmen prospered.

Assistance for bowlers

Ricky Ponting and Ben Hilfenhaus, who were instrumental in Australia's third-day efforts, said the wicket had just enough assistance for the bowlers.

“It was difficult to start on as a batsman,” said Ponting. “There's some thatched grass on it which the seam grabs onto. But if you get through the first half hour, every wicket in the world seems good.”

Asked about making runs when his place in the side was under pressure, Ponting said, “I don't really care about what's said from the outside. My job is to be a consistent run-getter, to do my best to get Australia to a higher ranking. It was nice to get some runs, but having done that, as a top-order batsman you have to go on and get big scores.”

Ponting spoke highly of Michael Hussey's innings, saying the left-hander proved that “you have to show good intent to get runs on this surface, and he did it superbly.”

Hilfenhaus said the technical work he had done in the off-season was paying off.

“It was important to bowl in good areas on this pitch,” he said. “I worked on using the angles at the crease better. It helped.”

More In: Cricket | Sport