Attack is the best policy against Muralitharan: Sehwag | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Attack is the best policy against Muralitharan: Sehwag

cricket Updated: Dec 07, 2009 19:59 IST

IANS
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Virender Sehwag while racing to his sixth double century at a furious pace came down hard at Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan and later said his plan was to dominate the world's highest wicket taker and not allow him to dictate terms.

Muralitharan, who is just 12 wickets short of a staggering 800 Test victims, has been a pale shadow of his past in the ongoing series. Indian batsmen have dominated Muralitharan to an extent that he has contemplated quitting before the 2011 World Cup.

Mumbai's historic Brabourne stadium had bounce and turn on the first day, but brought no luck for Muralitharan.

Sehwag, who finished at 284 (239 balls) Thursday powering India to a record 443 runs on a single day, said the only way to tackle Muralitharan was to attack him.

"Muralitharan is a big challenge to face. I attacked him straightway because you have to dominate him from the first ball before he starts dominating you."

And the best man to do that is Sehwag.

Muralitharan went for 119 runs in 20 overs at close to six runs per over, 79 of those runs flowed from Sehwag's blade.

Sehwag, who scored a whirlwind century in the Kanpur Test, setting up the game for India, said he wanted to score a big one here.

"I missed the big knock in the last Test. I didn't want to miss out this time so I was watcful in the beginning. I just wanted to hit the bad balls. I was watching the ball really well."

"It's a good track to bat on. The first day the pitch was damp and so it was spinning and seaming but it has gone now. I just told myself 'let me bat the way I do'. The pitch might turn again in the last two days ."

Sehwag missed joining Don Bradman as the only other player to reach 300 on a single day, but is on the verge of another sensational feat. He could become the only batsman to score three triple centuries in Test cricket and who knows the rate at which he scored his runs today, even Brian Lara's 400 (most runs in an innings) is not far away.

Sehwag's breathtaking display completely overshadowed opener Murali Vijay's brilliant 87 off 121 balls.

Vijay, who replaced Gautam Gambhir at the top of order, stepped into the left hander's shoes in every sense. In the last Test match at Kanpur, Gambhir and Sehwag scored 233 runs in 41.2 overs at an average of 5.65 runs. Vijay, who missed out on a truly deserving maiden century, and Sehwag collected 221 runs in 39.1 overs, exactly at the same average of 5.65 runs per over.

"I really enjoyed watching Sehwag bat. I just wanted to be positive and get a good start. He (Sehwag) told me to concentrate on watching the ball till the last moment and play my natural game."