We need to rebuild: Sehwag
Adelaide, Jan 29: Having lost the Border-Gavaskar series 0-4, stand-in captain for the last Test Virender Sehwag acknowledged that a collective batting failure cost India the series, as well as the last one in England. The opener, who has set the platform for India with big innings in the past, has failed to bat consistently in recent Tests, much like the rest of the line-up.
In the post-match press conference at the Adelaide Oval, Sehwag reflected upon India’s eight consecutive Test losses abroad. Excerpts:
On losing the Test series in Australia and England
There is no different reason [for losing in Australia]; in England we didn’t bat well and here also we didn’t bat well. All six or seven batsmen didn’t score enough runs for the bowlers to win the game. In England Rahul Dravid scored a couple of hundreds and here only Virat Kohli [scored one century] so the positive for the Indian team is that a youngster has scored his first hundred in Australia. It’s good to see that and also there are a couple of other positives like the way Umesh Yadav, [R] Ashwin, Zaheer [Khan] and Ishant [Sharma] bowled; I’m very impressed with them. It happens. If you look at the Australian team, they were struggling a year back and they lost the Ashes and then they got out for 47 in South Africa. It happens with every team. We have to rebuild the team and we will think about it.
On what India can do going forward
The best way is to forget what has happened and concentrate on what you will do in the coming matches and coming series […] Practice hard, plan well and execute the plans in the game.
On the wicket
It’s difficult to explain but yes, this wicket is like a typical Indian wicket. You need to go out there and just score runs. Nothing happens for the bowlers, especially for the first two days, and it’s difficult to explain what went wrong. But yes, we didn’t bat well and we didn’t give a good start as openers and hopefully we will do well in the coming series.
On his dismissal
I was disappointed in the first innings – I got out on a full toss; and in the second innings also. The moment I stepped out and saw the full toss – it’s a ball to be hit for a four and six – I just tried to hit it and ended up getting out. It was disappointing but that’s the way I play.
On the importance of the openers scoring runs
It’s important for the openers to do well overseas but I haven’t done well so I have to look at myself and make a good plan when I go overseas. […] They played better cricket than us so they won the series.
On the possible reasons for the failure
We weren’t able to convert our fifty partnerships into 200 and 300 [runs]; that was lacking. And there are a couple of examples in the Test series, in the first Test, when [Rahul] Dravid and [Sachin] Tendulkar were batting – there was a perfectly good partnership of 70-80 runs and then suddenly Sachin got out on a good ball and then on the next morning Rahul got out. I think whenever we build a good partnership, we are not able to convert it into a big one which we have done in the past, both in India and abroad. The last time when we were 80 for four here in Adelaide, Dravid and [VVS] Laxman put up a 300-run partnership. This time those partnerships [did not come about].