• England in India 2012-13

Sehwag keen to build on century ahead of England

ESPNcricinfo staff
November 6, 2012
Virender Sehwag scored his Ranji Trophy century for Delhi with a hurt ring finger © UNICEF India

Virender Sehwag, who scored a fighting century for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh on Monday, refused to be drawn into the debate about his form ahead of the forthcoming Test series with England.

His innings of 107 - his first century in any form of cricket in 11 months and his first in Ranji Trophy in six years - could not prevent Delhi's defeat, but it allayed the doubts over his indifferent form. Sehwag said he was happy to have scored the century and hoped to bat well in the upcoming Tests against England.

"I am happy that I scored 100 against UP. Whether I am back in form or not, is not for me to decide but I thought I played well enough and hope to do well [against England]," he told PTI.

Sehwag, who scored 25 in the first innings, suffered a cut on his ring finger when a chance off Mohammad Kaif flew past him at first slip on the second day. He did not take the field for the first two sessions on the third day and only came out to bat at No. 6 as Delhi's bid to save the match started faltering. He batted for almost four hours and faced 165 balls during his innings.

"My injury forced me to bat in the middle order," he said. "The doctor did not give me local anaesthesia on time. The team management decides [the move to] the middle order and not the player himself.

"My finger is getting better. It's fine at the moment."

There have been concerns over the form of Sehwag and his opening partner, Gautam Gambhir. But Sehwag, like Gambhir, believes they are still the best openers in India, and refused to comment on the selectors' decision to pick two more openers in the squad for England, Ajinkya Rahane and M Vijay.

"Yes, we are [the best opening pair in the country]. The decision [to include two more openers] is taken by the national selectors. They know it well."

Sehwag is also close to a personal milestone. He is just two matches short of becoming only the ninth Indian player to play 100 Tests. "It was my dream to play for my country. Since the time I achieved that, my next dream has been to perform well and play 100 Tests for India. I am very happy that moment is coming soon."

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