Mohali: Virender Sehwag gave ample proof of his class with a scintillating century as India gave a befitting reply to New Zealand's imposing first innings total on the third day of the series-deciding second cricket Test in Mohali on Saturday. Sehwag was batting on 128 while stand-in captain Rahul Dravid was on nine to take India to 203 for one when stumps were drawn for the day. The 24-year-old Sehwag set the PCA Stadium ablaze with an array of blistering strokes to not only notch up his fourth Test century but also help India give a good reply to New Zealand's first innings total of 630 for six declared.
India need 228 runs more to avoid the follow-on. The Delhi opener, often criticised for throwing away his wicket after getting the starts, did justice to his potential tearing the Kiwi bowling attack to shreds on a track that showed no signs of deteriorating. Sehwag's runs came off 213 balls with the help of 16 fours and two sixes. Dravid was quite subdued considering his good form and he took 55 balls to score his nine runs as his first Test as skipper appeared heading for a draw.
After New Zealand declared their innings 40 minutes before the lunch break, Sehwag and Akash Chopra (60) showed no signs of being under any pressure, providing a solid platform with a 164-run opening partnership.