England tour of India - Cricket: Tendulkar, Sehwag come in for praise

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Kanpur: The dazzling display by India's opening batsmen in the fourth One-dayer against England here on Monday drew full some praise from England skipper Nasser Hussain who, however, felt that he and his teammates were convinced batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar had snicked the first ball of the innings."I as well as my teammates were convinced that Tendulkar had produced a snick. It could have been a very close game (had Tendulkar been dismissed) then," Hussain said.He spoke highly of the stroke play of Tendulkar and his partner Virender Sehwag saying they can hit the ball anywhere in 360 degree."Sehwag is a carefree batsman. He is a fine player and drives the ball well," Hussain said. Sehwag's blazing knock won the praise of Indian captain Saurav Ganguly too. "He was simply brilliant," said Ganguly.Asked whether Sehwag can be sent as a regular opener, Ganguly replied "We always keep every option open".Hussain said his own openers had given England quite a decent start but felt his team "stopped 20 runs short". "It was still a pretty good score because the ball kept low sometimes and the pitch also slowed a bit later," he said. "We got a flying start but I think the middle order should play in slightly different tempo.... like (Graham) Thorpe played today."Sehwag said he has no problems in accepting that he tries to emulate the shots played by Tendulkar whom he considers as his role model."Sachin is my role model and I copy his shots," Sehwag proclaimed proudly after matching the maestro shot for shot in the opening partnership as they led India to a comprehensive eight-wicket win against England. Only thrice has Sehwag come as an opener in a One-day match. On those three occasions, he scored a 68-ball century and two fifties. Sehwag said he was looking for a hundred on Monday. "Yes, century was on my mind. After I reached my fifty, Sachin told me to start afresh. I did and kept playing my shots but unfortunately it (the century) didn't happen," Sehwag, who was out for 82, said."I tried to make the most of the field restrictions and there was no pressure on me," said the explosive batsman who smashed 14 boundaries in his 62-ball knock to win the man-of-the-match award. PTI

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