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Sehwag not averse to captaincy

Having registered a victory in his first match as captain, Virender Sehwag said that he would love to lead the side in the future if he was given the opportunity.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2003 23:38 IST

Having registered a victory in his first match as captain, Virender Sehwagon Wednesdaysaid that he would love to lead the side in the future if he was given the opportunity.

"Its a great honour to lead the country. I am happy that I could win the first match. I will be happy to lead the team if I get the opportunity in the future," Sehwag said after India defeated Bangladesh by four wickets to storm into the final of the TVS Cup triangular series.

"I am glad that I succeeded in whatever responsibility was given to me for this match. I really enjoyed captaining the team," he said.

The dashing opener said captaincy did not put any additional pressure on him and he felt quite relaxed right through the match.

"I did not feel any pressure of being the captain. I just played my natural game," Sehwag said.

The stand-in captain was full of praise for youngsters like Gautam Gambhir, Avishkar Salvi, Amit Mishra and Sarandeep Singh and felt they had the potential to succeed at the highest level.

"I think its good to give the youngsters a chance in such matches. They will learn by playing. I must say they all played very well."

Sehwag, who got out for 43 today, dismissed suggestions that he was not concentrating hard enough to convert the starts into big scores. "I play my natural game and always try to get the big scores. It is not that I lose my concentration and get out after getting the starts." More

Sehwag was disappointed with the fact that his side lost too many wickets towards the end after cruising along comfortably at one stage.

"That should not have happened. I think we were a bit casual and lost wickets in trying to get the runs quickly. But there was really no threat of losing the match".

Man-of-the -match Gautam Gambhir, who struck a sparkling 71, said it was a great feeling to score his first half century but was a bit disappointed that he could not stay till the end.

"Having settled down, I should have stayed till the finish. I need to keep working hard and score runs," he said.

The Delhi opener said there is a lot of difference beyween domestic cricket and international cricket and one had to learn to handle the pressure to succeed.

"There is pressure at the highest level even when playing against Bangladesh," he said.

Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud was happy that his team was showing signs of improvement but said there was a lot of hard work to be done before they could really compete with the stronger teams.

"It is good that we could reach the 200 mark for the second time. That should give us a lot of confidence. Our batting still needs a lot of improvement," Mahmud said.

Mahmud was disappointed that his bowlers were not being able to bowl in the "channel" to put some pressure on the batsmen.
"The bowlers for some reason have not been pitching in the right area. They have to get their acts together quickly," he said.

Gambhir grew in confidence and notched up his maiden half century with a delightful square drive to the boundary off Kapali.
Gambhir put on 47 runs for the third wicket with Kaif before both these batsmen and Bangar were dismissed within a space of 14 runs.

Earlier, Bangladesh recovered from the early setbacks through fine knocks from Bashar, Akram and Hossain.

The Bangladeshi innings began on a disastrous note with Mohammad Ashraful, the top scorer in the last match against South Africa, returning to the pavillion with the score on 15.

Bashar and Mehrab Hossain made an effort to consolidate the position for the team but Sanjay Bangar broke the partnership with his very first ball, getting rid of Hossain for 30 which came off 35 balls.

The dismissal of Hossain triggered off a middle order collapse as two more wickets fell in quick succession to reduce the home team to 78 for four within the 21st over.

Bashar and Akram Khan put on 46 runs for the fifth wicket -- the highest of the innings -- in a rebuilding exercise as they kept the scoreboard moving without taking too many risks.

Bashar attacked the loose balls and played some glorious shots, particularly against leg spinner Amit Mishra. The right-handed Bashar pushed Mishra for a single to notch up his half century but perished soon after to bring an end to the profitable partnership.

Bashar went for a big hit but could not time the ball properly and Mohammad Kaif took a simple catch at mid off. His 50 came off 94 balls, an effort which contained five fours.

Captain Khaled Mahmud hit a breezy 23 off 27 balls to accelerate the scoring in the slog overs.

First Published: Apr 16, 2003 22:36 IST