Offence is the best defence against Murali: Sehwag

Virender Sehwag has made Muttiah Muralitharan look pretty pedestrian in the ongoing Test series.

updated: December 03, 2009 13:22 IST
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Virender Sehwag has made Muttiah Muralitharan look pretty pedestrian in the ongoing Test series and the swashbuckling Indian opener says offence is the best defence against the Sri Lankan offie, arguably the deadliest bowler around.

During the course of his unbeaten 239-ball carnage of 284, Sehwag repeatedly came down the track to unsettle Muralitharan, who bled 119 runs in his 20 wicket-less overs.

"Murali is a big challenge to face. If you have to play against a spinner like him, you have to attack him. Otherwise he will come and dominate you. So instead of allowing him to dominate, I dominated right from the first ball and pushed him into the back foot," Sehwag said of the off-spinner who has 1,300 international wickets under his belt.

The hard-hitting opener said he was determined to play a big knock after missing similar opportunities in the previous Tests at Ahmedabad and Kanpur.

"I had missed it a couple of times in the last two Tests and I did not want to miss it again here. I decided to take my time, see through the new ball and build my innings," he said.

Post-lunch, Sehwag was simply unstoppable. "Then I was seeing the ball really well. So I thought 'let's bat the way I bat - see the ball, hit the ball'.

"It's still a good track to bat on. First day, the wicket was little damp so the ball seamed a bit. It was much better today and I think from fourth day, the track would turn," Sehwag said.

Sehwag raised 221 runs with his opening partner Murali Vijay (76) who rued missing a century when he was trapped by Rangana Herath 24 runs away from the mark.

"I was very positive and was hitting the ball today. But that was a poor dismissal and maybe I would not make the mistake in my next match," said the youngster.

Asked what advice he got from Sehwag during their partnership, Vijay said, "He told me to concentrate on watching the ball till the last moment and play."