One way or another, the fourth and final Test match between Australia and India starting here at the Adelaide Oval today will be the start of a new era in Indian cricket. One or two of three batting greats could call time on their respective careers. Australian crowds will never see them in action again. When India return Down Under in 2014-15, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman won't be around.
Virender Sehwag practices at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pic/AFP
Stand-in captain Virender Sehwag said the team will not let the potential farewells bother them. "If it happens, it happens. It's their own decision, you know, they will take the call when they want to retire. So, nobody is telling (them to retire) and we are not discussing anything in the dressing room. It's totally up to them," he told reporters yesterday.
Sehwag is expecting Laxman to come good. "He's looking forward to this Test match because he's up for it, and is concentrating hard. He's practicing hard in the nets and he was practicing a little extra also, so I'm sure that (considering) the kind of player he is, he will perform well in Adelaide because Australia is his favourite team. He has scored lot of hundreds against Australia so I'm sure that he'll do well," he said.
Some patience needed
Sehwag, who hasn't scored an overseas Test century since his last trip to Adelaide four years ago, wants to bat with more responsibility. "I think I have to show some patience against the bowling attack. If I show some patience, maybe I'll get some balls to hit for boundaries, but it's a challenge. It's a great bowling attack which everyone loves to play against, so I'm looking forward to playing in this Test match, and do well, because whenever you do well against Australia, people will appreciate and praise your performances, so everybody is looking forward to this Test," he said.
Sehwag echoed opening partner Gautam Gambhir's views that India would be back to winning ways at home later this year. "Whoever comes to India will also lose Test matches. Australia came to India and they lost two series, two-nil (in 2008-09) and two-nil (2010-11), so yes, I felt bad because we've done well overseas in the last ten years and suddenly last two tours we are not doing well. We are not living up to expectations, but we are working hard, trying hard, doing everything what we can, and we are practicing hard. Sometimes these things are not in your control. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn't. This is a part of life, part of game," he said.