‘Bangladesh... a pretty ordinary Test side’
India were supposed to train from 9.30 am on Saturday, but dense fog meant the team had to delay practice. Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh skipped the optional session and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, after a game of football, some fielding and keeping practice left early, reports Nilankur Das.cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2010 01:33 IST
India were supposed to train from 9.30 a.m. on Saturday, but dense fog meant the team had to delay practice. Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh skipped the optional session and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, after a game of football, some fielding and keeping practice left early.
Everything was going on smoothly till Virender Sehwag, addressed the media at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium and an off-the-field duel began.
“Do you think Bangladesh can surprise you?” someone asked.
“In one-day (cricket), they can surprise anyone but not in Tests,” came a curt reply from the stand-in captain.
“Don't you think they can beat you?” came a second question.
“I don't think so,” said Sehwag.
“Absolutely no chance?”
“No, Bangladesh is a pretty ordinary Test side. It’s difficult for Bangladesh to take 20 wickets. With the batting line-up we have, I don't think so. Sri Lanka couldn't do that so I don't think Bangladesh can either. It's going to be very, very difficult for Bangladesh. It's not overconfidence. We are just confident that we can bat well here on Bangladesh wickets,” Sehwag said raising a few eyebrows in the local media.
When the Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan and coach Jamie Siddons came in next, all questions revolved around Sehwag's remarks.
“Actually it's difficult to say whether our bowlers can take 20 wickets before the match has even started. I think the answer to this would come after the Test match. Sehwag's remarks would not be charging us up further. If we are carried away by such remarks it can backfire,” Shakib said trying to look as calm as possible.
Of course, he had been briefed by the local media before he came to the conference and, waiting for the right opportunity, he struck.
“Do you rate India as the real No. 1 in Test cricket?” was the question.
“India have become No. 1 just recently but I think South Africa and Australia are better teams. It's my observation and I have seen these teams play Test matches and that's how I feel about them,” he said.
Siddons was asked the same thing. “He should stay away from mikes,” Siddons said. “Every team has good and bad phases. His comments might bite him on his bum in a few years time. It might even hit him in the bum in a week's time. We are definitely not an ordinary side. That's what we are hoping to show in this Test series. We could hopefully prove Sehwag wrong.”