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'We missed experience in middle order'

India's stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag says Dravid's absence and the poor form of Tendulkar put much pressure on the rest of the squad.

india Updated: Nov 30, 2006 19:04 IST

India's stand-in captain Virender Sehwag said Rahul Dravid's absence and the poor form of Sachin Tendulkar put enormous pressure on the rest of the young and inexperienced batsmen in the fourth cricket one-dayer at Port Elizabeth against South Africa.

Sehwag also felt India missed having experienced batsmen in the middle order as South Africa had also started off badly but could recover because they had tried and tested players in their ranks.

"Dravid's absence hurt us in this game. He is the kind of batsman who tries to bat out overs in the middle order. The other batsmen then can feed around him," he said at the post-match press conference.

"Tendulkar's failure also puts pressure. When a big player fails, the rest of the batters come under pressure."

"We are not opening well and are losing far too many wickets in the first 10-15 overs. Youngsters thus are confronted with a huge task."

"South Africa are also starting badly but they are able to recover because they have experienced cricketers like Jacques Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs in the middle. That is not the case with us."

But Sehwag begged fans back home to be patient and give them some more time to come to terms with the tough conditions in South Africa.

"I want the fans to keep trust in us. Things cannot change in a day and it will take time. We will improve," he said.