We'll give it our best: Sehwag
Cuttack, Nov 29: After the 2-0 Test series win against West Indies, the home side have made a few changes going into the five-match ODI series. Virender Sehwag spoke the media about leading the young side in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his own form ahead of the first ODI in Cuttack.
Excerpts from the press conference:
On the young side
We have a very good young side. It's good for youngsters; they are getting opportunities [to showcase their talent]. They have five games to show their skills. If they perform well we can continue fielding a young side. We are pretty confident [about doing] well. I promise that we will give it our best shot. If we can put in more than 100 percent, the results will come out.
On the pressure
[The seniors] have been playing for the last 12 years […] It's just another series for us. We are playing so well. We won the last one-day series against England and Test series against the West Indies. Team India are playing well so I'm looking forward to this competition.
On returning to the ODI side after the World Cup win
I'm happy that I'm back in the one-day side. I am looking forward to this series. After the World Cup I had a shoulder surgery and it took a little long to recover and for the rehab process [to take its course]. Now that I'm fit, I'm ready to go.
On the Barabati pitch
We have played some games here. We played the last time against England and Sri Lanka and we won both games. It's a good ground for Team India and I think it's a good batting track.
On Ravindra Jadeja
He is a good player. He is a very good all-rounder, good in batting, bowling as well as fielding. But not only from him, I would expect contributions from all players. All the players are in fine form, having scored a good amount of runs in the Ranji Trophy. It's a good sign for Team India. [I] hope they play the same way [for] Team India.
On the opening combination
We will have a meeting to decide who will open with me. I am sure that I'm opening the batting but we will take a call on who will [partner] with me. I would love to open with Gautam [Gambhir] but we have to look at our team combination as well.
On Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar [has] some niggles [...] He is not available for the first ODI.
On the overwhelming response to the match
It's good to have matches in smaller towns. If it's a packed house and we play in front of 40-50,000 people, [it’ll be a] different ball game altogether. We love to play with a big crowd behind [us]. It's a beautiful ground and a very good wicket to bat on.
On the possibility of winning the series
It's difficult to predict a result. We can concentrate on the process and we will win the series.
On the dew factor
We will check [that as the game progresses].
On the young bowlers
They are very good bowlers. They are youngsters who need to learn a lot. They are on the right track, learning with other bowlers. They are doing a great job with coach Eric Simons.
On the West Indies team
They have a good side. In one-day [cricket] any team can beat any side [on their day]. We are not taking them lightly. We will give it our 100 per cent.
On Darren Bravo
We will try to get them out quickly.
On whether some of the players will be going to Australia earlier than others
I have not heard anything. But it's a good thing when you go a little early; [that way] you get more time to practice. It's always good.
On his own batting form
I'm looking at it this way – I was lucky to get three fifties. I am happy with my performance.
On the Indian spinners
India have always done well in the spin department. In the past, Harbhajan Singh and Anil [Kumble] bhai have done a brilliant job. Now we have got another composition. We had [Pragyan] Ojha in the Test series and here we have Jadeja and Rahul Sharma with [R] Ashwin. I hope they will do well in the one-day series as well.
On Ravichandran Ashwin
It's good. I am really happy for Ashwin because he has performed really well. It's good that his performance is appreciated by BCCI. When you get an award from the government, that's the biggest achievement. Getting a national award like the Arjuna or Padma award is the biggest achievement for a sportsperson. I hope that in the coming years he performs well. I am sure that Ashwin will get those [awards] also.