Sehwag hopes to capitalise on timely ton
Mumbai, 06 Nov: Virender Sehwag’s century for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh couldn’t have come at a better time. The dashing Indian opening batsman has been going through an extended lean patch and the 107-run knock was his first ton in any form of cricket after 11 months. Although the innings couldn’t save Delhi from a defeat, Sehwag was glad to be back among runs with a challenging knock that came while batting with an injured finger.
"I am happy that I scored 100 against UP. Whether I am back in form or not, is not for me to decide, but I thought I played well enough and hope to do well (against England)," he said.
Sehwag took a blow on his ring finger while attempting to catch an edge off Mohammad Kaif’s bat at second slip. He stayed off the field for two days and came in to bat at No.6 in the second innings and scored a century. His knock lasted about four hours and 165 deliveries. The opener rubbished all speculation about him trying to make his way into the middle order with this innings.
"My injury forced me to bat in the middle order," he said. "The doctor did not give me local anaesthesia on time. The team management decides [the move to] the middle order and not the player himself.” About the severity of his injury, Sehwag said, "My finger is getting better. It's fine at the moment."
Recently, Sehwag’s opening partner Gautam Gambhir responded to the voices expressing concerns over the pair’s poor form saying they are still the best opening pair that India has. Sehwag seconded his partner’s words. "Yes, we are [the best opening pair in the country].
About the inclusion of Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay in the Test squad, Sehwag said, “The decision [to include two more openers] is taken by the national selectors. They know it well."
Besides its general importance, the Test series against England is also of special consequence to Sehwag personally. He is two matches away from being only the ninth Indian to play 100 Tests. "It was my dream to play for my country. Since the time I achieved that, my next dream has been to perform well and play 100 Tests for India. I am very happy that moment is coming soon," he said.
Of the competitiveness of the series, he said, “England are a good side, but so are we. I think it will be a tough series.”