Sehwag confident of good show against Proteas

Virender Sehwag exuded confidence that he would continue with his good Test form when India take on South Africa in the first Test.

updated: March 31, 2008 06:59 IST
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Virender Sehwag on Tuesday exuded confidence that he would continue with his good Test form when India take on South Africa in the first Test of the three-match series, beginning here from Wednesday.

The swashbuckling opener had hit a century in his last innings in the drawn Adelaide Test against Australia.

"I have a lot of confidence. My last innings in a Test was a 150, so I know what I am doing. I will look to survive the first hour and the dominate in the next," he said while addressing a press conference here today.

Sehwag said India would benefit by the home advantage.

"Home series is very important. You've grown up in India and played a lot of cricket here. You know better than others how to pay here and you know it is a good chance to perform." Sehwag believed the South Africans were a good side but the sweltering temperatures would be a tough test for the visitors.

"(They are a) good side, strong batting and bowling. Depends how they will cope with the Chennai heat." Despite the fact that Indian pitches favour spinners, Sehwag said it would be a tough job for rival spinner Paul Harris.

"I have seen the South African attack because the same attack played against us when we were in South Africa.

"Paul Harris may or may not get wickets becuase we play spin well but he will have to work hard to be successful.

The Delhi bastman also insisted that he had no issues playing under any captain in Tests or one-dayers and was willing to bat at any number.

"I have no problem playing under any captain. I gave my fitness test and proved my fitness. And I do not mind batting at any order," he said.

Sehwag said the heat was a worrying factor not only for the visitors but for the Indian side too. "We are not worried about the bowlers, we are worried about how we will manage the heat.

"I think South Africa has done well in the past because they got conditions that really suited them. There was swing and pace in South Africa and they exploited that. But they won't get similar conditions here," he opined.

The dashing opener, who was dropped for first two Tests Down Under, said the Chepauk strip is similar to the Australian wickets.

"Not too much difference between the Chennai wicket and the ones in Australia. The bounce is almost the same, only the pace is a little less," he said.

On being asked about changes brought in by coach Gary Kristen, Sehwag admitted man-management has improved in the side.

"Not too many changes after Gary has taken over. Only man-management and facilities are better after Kirsten took over the reins. There is no time wastage during the practices. Everyone does what they are supposed to do.

"We have point-to-point talk in the meetings. We had not expected him to be so well prepared. Gary got the job. We are very keen to work with him," he said