SPORT

I am not disappointed, says Sehwag

Crucial strike: Muttiah Muralitharan picked up Virender Sehwag just short of a triple century.

Crucial strike: Muttiah Muralitharan picked up Virender Sehwag just short of a triple century.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: K.R. Deepak

S. Dinakar

The dashing opener and Sri Lankan coach pay tributes to Muralitharan

MUMBAI: Virender Sehwag looked at the positive aspect of notching up another huge score rather than being disappointed at missing out on a record triple century in Tests.

He said here on Friday, “Not many batsmen get to score two Test triple centuries and follow that with a 293. I do not think I have anything to be disappointed about.”

About his caught-and-bowled dismissal, he said, “Perhaps it was the wrong shot to play. The ball was not quite there to be hit and I misjudged the length.”

Asked about Muttiah Muralitharan — the dashing opener dominated the Sri Lankan off-spinning legend before being eventually dismissed off his bowling — he replied, “Muralitharan is a great bowler. Even if he bowls after retirement, you would have to treat him with respect.”

‘I am an entertainer’

On being someone who drew crowds into the stadium in any format, he said, “I am an entertainer. It depends on the individual what kind of a player he wants to be.”

Sehwag revealed he had been told by his family back home in Delhi that his little son had kissed him on television during his innings here. “I felt very happy,” he said.

Queried about Sri Lanka’s defensive field settings on day two, he said, “Even if the leg-side was packed, I had the opportunity to play the reverse sweep or the stroke over covers. I do not practise the reverse sweep at nets. It just comes off in the match.”

Sehwag said coach Gary Kirsten’s advice to him ahead of the series had proved invaluable. “He told me to be careful in the early stages of the innings and then be the most destructive batsman in the world.”

Turning his attention to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s hundred on day three, he said, “It was perhaps the best innings I have seen from a lower middle-order wicketkeeper-batsman. He had only Ojha for company and was a long way away from a hundred.”

Have to bowl well

Sehwag said the Indians would have to bowl well to get the Sri Lankans all out for a second time. “There is some turn and bounce in the wicket but our bowlers will have to be patient. Sri Lanka is a good team and has a strong batting line-up. We will have to bowl in the right areas.”

About the inspiration from his idol Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag said, “He’s such a great player. I hope he gets 15,000 Test runs.”

Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss conceded, “We tried just about everything at Sehwag on the second day but nothing worked for us. We bowled different lengths, different lines, and to different fields but he was too good.”

Philosophical approach

He said Muralitharan was philosophical about how things had gone for him on this tour, the second day here in particular. “He tells me that there are good and bad days in cricket and he has seen worse days. He’s still a great bowler.”

The Sri Lankan coach conceded his attack had not had two good days in succession in this series. “We have had a good day followed by a bad one or a bad day followed by a good one.”

Consistency has been lacking in Sri Lanka’s cricket on this tour, he felt.

Recommended for you