There are few better sights in international cricket than Virender Sehwag in full cry, his flashing his blade dispatching quality bowlers to the ropes. But, those that live by the sword also die by it, and when Sehwag succumbed twice to expansive strokes on the same day, conversation understandably drifted to whether he could have been more circumspect.
But Sehwag, typically, had no regrets over his shot selection in both the innings.
“That’s my scoring shot. If you look at the 7,000 runs that I have scored, more than 3,000 have come through the cut,” Sehwag, who scored 109 and 31 on Wednesday, said after stumps were drawn. “In coming matches too, I will play the same shot. Sometimes you get out, sometimes you score runs. Almost every time, I score runs with the cut shot.”
But Sehwag didn’t shy away from taking responsibility. When asked whether there was an awareness within the team, that a few irresponsible shots were played, the Delhi dasher said: “Everybody is aware of that but you can’t control certain things. Sometimes you play that shot and you get away with that, sometimes you get out. That’s Test cricket where everybody has played enough matches. They are experienced. It happens in cricket.”
Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss, however, revelled in plotting Sehwag’s downfall in both innings. “Sehwag’s had a pretty good time against us in the last couple of Test series so we had to try something a little bit different to him,” said Bayliss. “Whether it works or not, you can’t just keep running in and letting the ball go without any real plan. We’ve tried one or two things in this match so far.”
Though Bayliss hadn’t taken a Sri Lankan victory for granted and Sehwag hoped that Laxman and skipper MS Dhoni would save the match, the Indian team’s vulnerability was reflected in his last wish.
“We are on the losing side unless VVS Laxman can play tomorrow,” said Sehwag. “We are hopeful that after lunch or before tea, rain will come and the match gets washed out as a draw.”