India can chase anything below 300: Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag (c) said the match presently is well balanced and anyone who works hard on Thursday or on the next day can win Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Melbourne: Dec 28, 2011

With the match evenly poised, aggressive Indian opener Virender Sehwag said any target less than 300 would be gettable for his team in the first cricket Test against Australia on Wednesday.

At the end of third day’s play, Australia are 230 runs ahead of India but with just two wickets in hand at 179 for 8, it would be a challenge for the hosts to stretch the advantage much beyond that.

“I think anything less than 300 is a gettable target. The match presently is well balanced. Anyone who works hard tomorrow or on the next day can win,” stated Sehwag at the end of day’s play.

Importantly for them, Michael Hussey was unbeaten on 78 and could still push his side towards the total which, as Sehwag suggested, could be beyond India.

Sehwag said while opening fireworks would be crucial to India’s chase, the role of the middle-order is no less significant.

“It’s not me alone who would win the Test. It’s everyone’s role. Yes, if we give a good start then we have a very good chance to win the Test,” stated Sehwag.

“If we have to win the game, we have to bat really well on the fourth or fifth day,” he added.

Sehwag’s partner Gautam Gambhir has appeared a little listless on the tour but the former back the Delhi left-hander.

“It’s just one innings (when Gambhir has failed). It’s a long tour ahead of us,” he said.

Looking ahead at India’s second innings, Sehwag had little doubt that Australia would rely heavily on their pace bowlers to do the job.

“I don’t think there is much spin in the wicket. When the ball is new, the seam movement is very important. I don’t think Australia rely on spin, they rely on seam bowling. We are going against spin bowling so we surely would look to attack spin bowlers,” Sehwag said.

India collapsed from a good position this morning after being 214 for 3 at one stage. They lost their last seven wickets for 68 runs but the bowlers have brought the tourists right back into the game.

“The captain said (during the innings break) that we needed to go out there and give our best. He said this is the moment when we expect bowlers to bowl in right areas because the wicket is doing something.

“As I said, the bowlers bowled very well. This is India’s best bowling attack I have ever played with,” claimed the opener.

Sehwag was all praise for young pacer Umesh Yadav who already has bagged seven wickets in the match.

“He is a good bowler, he bowls in right areas in high 140s and offers good challenge to batters,” he said.

Quite a few batsmen, including Sehwag, chopped deliveries on to their stumps to get out in this match and the Indian blamed it on the uneven bounce.

“It’s because the ball is not coming on to the bat. It’s stopping and coming. Batsmen are playing early and that’s why are getting inside edges.”

Sehwag believed it was left to his fellow batters to complete the job.

“I think we bowled very well, it’s up to the batsmen now, the wicket has some help for seamers, especially with the new ball, even when it gets old, it offers some help to the bowlers. But I like playing on such a track rather than the dead ones back home,” he said.(PTI)