South Africa wonder how to get rid of Sehwag

March 28th, 2008 - 9:05 pm ICT by admin  

By Anand Philar
Chennai, March 28 (IANS) A haggard South African camp, reeling under a Virender Sehwag blast, is scratching its collective head over how to stop the belligerent batsman from reaching 400. Sehwag, who compiled a magnificent 309 not out Friday, came in for rich praise from South African coach Mickey Arthur, who said they were ripped apart by a champion player.

“We were well beaten by a champion player. He played every possible shot in a disciplined manner and put India in a strong position,” Arthur said after India rode on Sehwag’s triple-century to pile on 468 for one in reply to visitors’ 540 all out.

Arthur felt that the team would have to work out a plan on the morrow to contain Sehwag and thus prevent India from taking a big lead.

“Tomorrow, we will sit down and see how to contain him and others from taking a big lead. Hopefully, we can prevent India from not scoring so fast,” Arthur said.

He described Sehwag’s innings as the “best I have seen”, and added: “Never in my wildest dreams I thought India would chase so fast and it was all because of one player- Sehwag.”

“His innings was one of technique and we tried everything to get him out. But today, he played like a champion. At the moment, I cannot think of any positives to take from today’s perfomance.”

Asked in a lighter vein whether his pre-match prediction that South Africa had the bowling resources to take 20 wickets referred to one Test or the entire series, Arthur replied with a laugh: “We still think that we have the bowling strength to do that.”

“We will take the second new ball tomorrow and the first 15 over are vital. We should try and stop Sehwag. Obviously, he will be thinking about reaching 400-plus score.”

Regarding the pitch and weather conditions, Arthur said: “Conditions were sultry and the wicket was flat. We had played in similar conditions in Pakistan earlier.”

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