Sehwag’s given India a sniff of victory: Strauss

December 14th, 2008 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin TendulkarChennai, Dec 14 (IANS) Andrew Strauss, who scored his second century in the first cricket Test against India Sunday, admitted that Virender Sehwag’s blitz has given the hosts a “sniff of victory” over England.Strauss though added that England are confident of taking the remaining nine wickets to win the first Test on the fifth and the last day.

Chasing a victory target of 387 runs in 126 overs, India were 131 for one at stumps on the fourth day of the first Test, here Sunday. Sehwag scored 83 off 68 balls.

“A lot is happening on the wicket and we are confident of taking the nine wickets tomorrow. We have to have patience and hold our chances,” said Strauss, who scored, 108, his second century of the match.

“India have a few experienced campaigners who have been there and done that. The wickets of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are important for us.”

Strauss opined that Virender Sehwag’s blistering innings of 83 kept India in the game. “His innings has given India a sniff of victory,” he said.

Heaping praise on Sehwag, Strauss pointed out that it was difficult to set a field for the Indian opener. “He bats with amazing freedom, and it is difficult for any captain to set a field for him. He is a very exciting batsman to watch, but not when you are in the opposition.”

Strauss, who was dropped from the England team last year due to poor form, said: “It was a big moment for me today and that it came in a difficult situation was even more satisfying.”

“About 12 months ago, I was sitting at home and watching England playing Sri Lanka. Every player has his ups and downs, but when you are in form, you have to make it count.”

Commenting on England’s slow pace of scoring today, Strauss said he did try to force the pace during the post-lunch session. “But Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, bowled very well with the old ball. As for me, I knew I had to stay in the bubble, and got out when I came out of it,” he said.

Strauss also complimented team-mate and century- maker Paul Collingwood (108) saying: “Everytime England have been in trouble, Collingwood bailed us out. He has done it over and over again.”

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