Australian attack among best I’ve faced, says Sehwag

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

ADELAIDE, (Reuters): Indian batsman Virender Sehwag rates the current Australia pace attack as among the best he has faced in his 10-year test career.

The 33-year-old opener, who has scored 8,098 runs in 95 tests since his debut in late 2001, is standing in as captain for the fourth test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval starting on Tuesday.

Australia’s pace attack - Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc - have helped bowl India out twice in tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series with three crushing wins.

With the hosts coming into the series after a home defeat to New Zealand and the memory of the 3-1 Ashes defeat at the turn of last year still fresh, many were questioning whether it was a case of Australia bowling being good or India batting bad.

“They are bowling in good areas, they are not giving up easy balls to hit boundaries. They are playing with your patience and all,” Sehwag told reporters on the eve of the final test.

“I think that’s the best bowling attack I’ve ever seen, especially against Australia.

“Generally, when I played the fast men ... I’d get a couple of balls I could hit for boundaries. But in this attack I hardly get any balls. So, I think, one of the best bowling attacks.”

The tourists’ world class but ageing batting line-up - which features the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sehwag - could not claim to have had a great series and not one Indian has managed to notch up a century.

“I feel bad because in the last 10 years we have done well overseas but in the last two series we have not live up to expectations,” added Sehwag, who was also part of the team that lost 4-0 in England last year.

“But we are working hard, we are trying hard. Sometimes you do what you can and it doesn’t click. That’s part of life, part of the game.

“In 2008 and 2009 every batsmen scored runs, top order and middle order, but now it seems that everybody’s time is not good,” he added.

“It is important that at least two or three batsmen get hundreds but unfortunately, that’s not happening right now in team India.”

Certainly Sehwag and his opening partner Gautam Gambhir could have had a better series having failed to put together a partnership of more than 25.

Although big opening stands have long been the bedrock on which Indian test victories were built, Sehwag refused to take all the blame on behalf of the current top order.

“It’s everybody’s responsibility to score runs, especially outside India,” he said. “Unfortunately, on the last two tours the batsmen didn’t get those runs. Yes, the openers need to make a good start but other batsmen need to score too.”

Despite much conjecture in the Australian media that the opposite is the case, Sehwag said his team were “up” for the test.

“We lost the series but there is a pride in team India and we will play for our pride and, for ourselves, to improve our performance,” he said.

“I think I’ll have to show some patience against the Australian pace attack because perhaps then I’ll get some balls to hit.”