The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘I have loads of self-belief’
- Disappointing run behind, Sehwag promises ‘badla’ over New Zealand

Johannesburg: Self-belief, more than anything else, helped Virender Sehwag get over a disappointing run till the 66 against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers.

“That I couldn’t build on the starts (four scores of 20-plus in seven matches) didn’t frustrate me... Didn’t upset me... After all, I have loads of self-belief and knew I would come good — sooner rather than later,” he remarked at Centurion, Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking after the team’s workout, in preparation for Friday’s game versus New Zealand, Sehwag added: “It’s not right for people to assume I throw my wicket away. Fact is main shots khelta hoon aur unhi shots mein out ho jaata hoon... It so happens that the shots which fetch runs also bring about my downfall...”

Asked whether he becomes conscious of Sachin Tendulkar being at the other end, when he takes guard at the start of the innings, Sehwag answered: “Frankly, I don’t look at who is at the other end... I just try to do my best.”

Sehwag agreed that the wickets in the World Cup were “pretty similar” to the ones back home. The one real difference, though, has been the bounce.

But, then, Sehwag isn’t the type who is much bothered about wickets. And, when on song, doesn’t care about the bowlers either. “From my side, respect will only be there if the bowler deserves it,” he pointed out, smiling.

Having done well in the recent ODIs in New Zealand, Sehwag is ready to again take on the Shane Bonds. “Koshish yehi rahegi ki hum log jeet lein... Badla lena hai,” he said, adding that the SuperSport Park was “India’s favourite ground”.

While the Indians did thrash Pakistan in the last engagement there, they were routed by Australia four weeks ago. Reflecting on that loss, Sehwag promised that the “planning” would be better for the next showdown with Ricky Ponting’s men.

“Next time, we will be careful about which bowlers to take on and which bowlers to play out,” he remarked, confirming that he did have a mature head. Of course, Sehwag acknowledged that the Australians were the “best” in the tournament.

Incidentally, though Sehwag is obviously happy about getting back one of the opening slots, he has that anything-for-the-team attitude.

While Sehwag spoke of “badla,” coach John Wright isn’t looking to Friday’s engagement as a grudge match. “It will be nice to beat New Zealand, but I’m not looking at it as a grudge game...”

The coach, by the way, didn’t forget to praise Jawagal Srinath. “He’s been so consistent... He’s been an important member of our successful campaign...” That probably is an understatement.

Meanwhile, though the Indian XI is likely to remain the same, a source told The Telegraph that the batting order could see a change. “It’s possible that Mohammed Kaif and Dinesh Mongia will bat at No.3 and 4, respectively, with the captain (Sourav Ganguly) and vice-captain (Rahul Dravid) batting lower,” the source informed.

Confirmation should come by Thursday morning.

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