Sehwag is not concerned about India’s future
India opener Virender Sehwag has defended the team’s batsmen, stating that they are not embarrassments, despite many cricket pundits saying that they were totally humiliated by the England bowling attack during their recent four-Test series.
Sehwag admitted that there are improvements needed to the batting lineup and put his faith in “God” to get everything in order before the team’s next Test series at home against Australia.
“We have to work hard in the next game,” he said. “We are still fighting. Hopefully something happens, but I… only god can help us.”
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was highlighted as one of the best and most consistent batsmen for the national team throughout the series, but Sehwag noted that he was not embarrassed by that since it was an encouraging sight to see the tailenders fight and help the team achieve a respectable total.
“It’s not embarrassment,” Sehwag said. “He is also part of our team. He is a good player. He knows how to score runs and how to survive. Depends on an individual to individual. My batting style is different, and others are different, and Ashwin’s is different. If you apply yourself on that wicket, it’s not difficult to score runs.
“It’s Test cricket, and if you show some patience, you can score some runs. Key was patience.”
Instead of focusing on how the England bowlers constantly kept the Indians under pressure, Sehwag chose to point out that the visitors’ batting lineup was absolutely unstoppable at times.
“Their batsmen showed patience more than ours,” he said. “Their batsmen batted really well. Full credit to the way Cook batted and everyone else batted. Our bowlers did everything, they tried everything. They bowled slow, they bowled quick, they bowled flighted, they bowled flat, but England batted really well, I can say that.
“We tried everything. When we were bowling, the ball started reversing after 10 overs. They played well also. They showed patience. They waited for loose balls, they hit those loose balls. We didn’t show enough patience.”
India’s middle order was heavily criticised for their lack of runs, but Sehwag came to their defence as well, saying that a majority of the batsmen were still young and getting accustomed to the hardships of Test cricket.
“When [Cheteshwar] Pujara scored runs, double hundred and hundred, you guys only said we have found a replacement for Rahul Dravid,” he said. “You didn’t wait for a couple of matches. Now you are saying that because Rahul Dravid and [VVS] Laxman are not there we are losing. It is a transition period for us, you have to give time to the youngsters.
“We will bounce back, we will score runs. In this series we haven’t put runs on the board, especially in the last two games. The moment we put up the runs, 500-plus, it’s a different ball game.”
Sehwag also refused to comment on whether he would consider moving down the order to lend a hand to the middle order batsmen, but he did mention that the batsmen at the number four, five and six spot did not lack in experience.
“Yuvraj Singh has played 40 Tests, Virat Kohli has played 13,” he said. “He has been playing international cricket for two, three years. He got that ICC cricketer of the year and the BCCI award. He is mature enough. It’s not about new and young.”
Sehwag might have only had one good innings during the entire series, but he stated that cricket pundits and the media should focus on the team as a whole instead of looking to attack one particular individual.
“Our team is very good team,” Sehwag added. “We have six batsmen who are capable of scoring hundreds and double hundreds. It’s not that they are depending on me. It’s a team game.”