Dhaka, Feb 20 (IANS) Having set up India’s victory in the opening Cricket World Cup match against Bangladesh with a rollicking 175, dashing opener Virender Sehwag Saturday said he would have loved to bat 50 overs but scoring a double hundred was never in his mind.
Sehwag, who plundered the Bangladesh bowling attack in Saturday’s game here, was happy to have equalled Kapil Dev’s feat of 175 runs in a World Cup game.
Kapil’s 175 – then the highest by a batsman in a One-day game – came under trying circumstances after India were struggling at 17/5 in a must-win league match against Zimbabwe at the 1983 World Cup.
Later, Sourav Ganguly scored 183 against Sri Lanka at Taunton in the 1999 World Cup.
‘I am happy and honoured to have equalled his (Kapil Dev) score in the World Cup. People will now speak about both of us getting 175,’ said Sehwag after India scored a convincing 87-run win over Bangladesh in their first Group B game.
Asked about his 200-minute stay in the middle, Sehwag replied: ‘My strike rate was still more than 100. My aim was to bat minimum 30-40 overs and when I batted 47 I was happy that at least once in my career I had batted for so long. I was planning to bat 50 overs but could not do that today. Hopefully will do that some time.’
Sehwag, who was dismissed in the 48th over, categorically said getting a double hundred never crossed his mind.
‘No, not at all. I never thought about getting a double century. When I got out less then three overs were left. I could have got a maximum of 15 balls and score 25 runs.I didn’t even think about getting a double century. My target was to play 50 overs,’ he said at the post match media conference.
He said the wicket was good to bat on and he and fellow opener Sachin Tendulkar began by scoring at 10 runs an over in the first three overs. ‘After that we decided we are going too fast and we have to be a little careful. That’s because, if we had lost early wickets it would have been tough for the batsmen to follow.’
Sehwag said when the field was spread, it became easy for him to rotate the strike.
‘I think I hit a six on 49, and after that till 75 or 80 I was just rotating the strike. Because I knew I had to play 30-40 overs, and if I do that I would get hundred. I was not worrired about my hundred, or runs, because I knew it will come if I stay there.’
About Sachin Tendulkar’s run out, Sehwag said they had decided to take it easy on singles. ‘He was calling and I wasn’t listening. I was looking at the direction of the ball. For a second, I thought I had committed a mistake, but when I got back to the dressing room he said the bottomline was to win the game for the country. It’s not important who is performing.’