I’m backing our young line-up: Sehwag
Cuttack, Nov 30: Indian skipper Virender Sehwag was happy with India’s thrilling win over West Indies in Cuttack that has given them a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series. The stand-in captain lauded the performances of Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Vinay Kumar and their efforts in securing the edgy win despite the loss of five early wickets. Sehwag was also appreciated the bowlers for restricting the visitors to a modest 211.
Excerpts from the post-match press conference:
On the close win
A win is a win; it doesn’t matter if you win by one wicket or ten. The important thing is that we started well and [that] we are 1-0 up [in the series]. Full praise to Rohit Sharma, [Ravindra] Jadeja and Vinay Kumar. They batted really well and they had good partnerships and because of that we won the game. When there were 11 runs left [to score], I thought maybe, [just] maybe we might not win the game but Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav did it for us.
On the dismissals of the top five batsmen
I think two good balls [got] Virat Kohli and myself [out]. The ball came in and we played a little early. We made mistakes [and] we have to learn from our mistakes. [The] other three were soft dismissals. Parthiv Patel had [tried a] shot outside off [-stump]; he cut the ball and [it] went straight to point. Gautam Gambhir also tried to play the cut shot and [was] caught behind. Suresh Raina’s was also a soft dismissal […] I still back my batting [line-up] because we have some exciting youngsters. They have been playing for India for the last three or four years and they are doing well.
On Rohit Sharma
He is a very good player. He is one of the talented batsmen we have and he is proving his talent match by match. He is gaining experience and is one of the best players.
On winning the toss and opting to field
I think my decision was absolutely right. [When] you are chasing 212 [runs], you can’t expect more than that. It’s just the batsmen’s mistake. We were 59 for [the loss of] five [wickets] because of some soft dismissals [and] some good balls. Otherwise in India you hardly see [the] Indian team at 59 for [the loss of] five [wickets]. Hopefully we will come up with a strong batting performance in the coming games.
On the chase
[…] When you lose five early wickets it’s difficult for the batsmen [who follow] to score frequently so I praise Rohit Sharma and Jadeja; they had a very good partnership and after that Vinay and Rohit had a 50- or 60-run partnership. It’s not easy [to score] when you lose five wickets but the way Rohit and Jadeja and Vinay batted was great to see.
On the atmosphere in the dressing room during the nerve-wracking chase
That’s the quality of the Indian dressing room right now and the last couple of years; we just stay cool and calm. We believe we can win from any situation, any position and we actually did that. So [many] thanks to the support staff and team management and players who stayed very calm during the game.
On the pitch
It was a good track. When West Indies were batting I was expecting they would score 270-280 runs but because of our good bowling and fielding we restricted them to 210. The wicket was good to bat on.
On the team’s performance
I was happy with the bowling and fielding departments but [as far as] the batting is concerned, we have to pick it up ourselves and we have to perform and bat really well in the coming games if we want to win the series. There is no excuse for anybody for not scoring runs in the coming matches.
On chasing and winning matches
The last three one-day [matches] we’ve won, we’ve won chasing. This time it was difficult but we still won the game.
On Abhimanyu Mithun joining the team
[He will join us] in Vizag.
On the crowd at Cuttack
It feels great when people come to watch the game, especially [when it’s a] full house; they expect that if India bat, we will score 300-plus runs and win easily win […] It was a good game at the end of the day. Nobody expected West Indies to score 211 runs and that India would lose five [early] wickets and then win.
Every game is important because if you want to become No. 1 again, you have to win all the games and all the series. So our process is on and if we just concentrate on the process, [the] result will come [out] in our favour […]
On playing in smaller towns
I love to play in smaller towns because the crowd comes in. People give you so much respect and love. They bring all kinds of food and stuff for you and make sure you are happy.