Sehwag sends warning message to Proteas

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Chennai: Having worked on his shortcomings, dashing Indian opener Virender Sehwag sounded a warning ahead of the first Test against South Africa, saying he would play his natural explosive game against the Proteas.

Talking to reporters after a two-hour long gruelling practice session at the M A Chidambaram stadium here last evening, he, however, said he would have a good look at the wicket, see off the first hour and then play his natural game.

''I will have a look at the pitch, wait for the first 10 to 15 overs and then play my natural explosive game,'' Sehwag, who had scored a century in his debut match against the Proteas under seaming conditions at Bloemfontein in 2001, said.

''I have been preparing well for this series and I am in a good frame of mind to do well against South Africa,'' he said.

The Hero of Multan, where he became the only Indian to score a triple hundred against Pakistan in 2001, has been in and out of the side. But his performance against the Aussies has won him a place in the side.

''After getting dropped, especially in the test matches, for the last 12 months, I worked on my shortcomings and came back fighting harder.''

The 27-year-old Sehwag also admitted that he had committed certain mistakes in previous Tests by trying to dominate from the very first ball. ''Now, I had learnt to stay in the wicket for a while and take chance once I get settled down,'' he said, adding ''Try to survive the first hour and then go for shots."

He also pointed out that playing in India, especially in front of the home crowd, would help him to regain his form better.

''Playing in India will serve as confidence booster, both mentally and physically,'' he said.

Sehwag said he had also discussed a lot with Indian team support staff Paddy Upton to be mentally tough.

When asked about the present South African team, he said ''it has a good mix of batting and bowling.'' However, they have to cope up the slow Indian wickets.''

Asked about his association with new coach Gary Kirsten, Sehwag said ''we are very keen to work with him (Kirsten). He knows how to handle the players. His experience will help us a lot.''


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