Virender Sehwag plays a shot during Day 4 of the 3rd Test Match against England at Eden Garden in Kolkata. PTI Photo
“Do I have a say here or will you decide on the headlines and what to write about whom?”
Just like his whirlwind innings, Virender Sehwag dealt with the media on Saturday in his uninhibited way. He didn't mince words and more often than not was candid about India's performance.
From 86 for no loss to 122 for six in just a session, India's batting crumbled yet again, on a pitch which Sehwag said was still not difficult to score runs on. For Sehwag, the reason was simple --- lack of application and patience.
“If you apply yourself on this wicket, it's not difficult to score runs. This is Test cricket. Keyword is patience,” said Sehwag.
India obviously didn't show both on Saturday. Yet, Sehwag's trail-blazing ways ensured that the 207-run lead gained by England look easily achievable when lunch was taken.
But Sehwag fell off the first ball of the post-lunch session, failing to connect a Graeme Swann ball that turned a lot. It was one-way traffic thereafter.
Gautam Gambhir scored a fair share of the runs but Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni failed before R Ashwin showed how it's done.
Sachin Tendulkar failed too but in keeping with the need to look ahead, questions were raised whether India are struggling without two of their greatest middle-order bats — Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
“I think when Pujara scored runs, 200 and then 100, you guys were only saying that we had found the replacement to Rahul Dravid. You didn't wait for a couple of matches. Only the media is saying now that Dravid and VVS are not there,” fired back Sehwag.
“You have to give time to the youngsters and they will bounce back. We haven't put up runs, especially in the last two games. It would have been a different ballgame had we put 400-500 on the board,” said Sehwag.
Sehwag also didn't feel inexperience was the correct word to describe the middle order. “Yuvraj has played 40 Tests and Virat has been playing for the last 2-3 years. He was the ICC Cricketer of the Year, so he is mature enough,” he said.
That said, Sehwag admitted they were not up to the mark. “The wicket was not that bad to lose six wickets in a session. We can hope that something happens and we're able to draw the Test. Only God, can help us.”