India ready for Kiwi backlash: Sehwag

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Virender Sehwag said his team was ready to counter the Kiwi backlash in the second ODI as he expects New Zealand to come back hard.

Updated: March 05, 2009 08:37 IST
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India's dashing opener Virender Sehwag on Thursday said his team was ready to counter the Kiwi backlash in the second cricket one-dayer as he expects New Zealand to come back hard after the defeat in first the game.

"We know New Zealand are a good side. They will come back hard and we are ready for that. But we have to play good cricket if we want to beat them on their turf," Sehwag told reporters on the eve of the match.

Sehwag, who played a crucial role in India's 53-run win in the first ODI, said New Zealand had a good bowling attack only they were lacking a bit of experience at the international level.

"We scored a lot of runs in the last game, but it doesn't mean they are not a good side. Some of them haven't played much cricket. Only Kyle Mills and Daniel Vettori are experienced. But the others have the talent to be able to perform at the international level," he said.

Asked if he was targeting any particular bowler, the Delhi dasher said "I am not targeting anyone. I am playing my natural game."

He said batting was India's strength and its hard-hitting batsmen were capable to take the total past 300 mark.

"We have a couple of hard hitters like Yuvraj (Singh), (MS) Dhoni, (Suresh) Raina and Yusuf (Pathan) who can hit balls out of the grounds. We are expecting quick runs from them," Sehwag said.

"If we don't lose wickets early, we can easily score 300 in every game. The new ball is important for us. In the last game we scored 273 off 38 overs. We could have gone on to 350-360 if it had been a 50-over game. Our batting is our strength. If we can play the new ball well, we regularly manage scores of 280-290."

Asked if he would like to bowl in the one-dayers, Sehwag said: "If he (Dhoni) gives me a bowl, I would like to. I have asked him a couple of times," he said.

On the wickets in New Zealand, Sehwag said it was enjoyable to play on these tracks.

"The wickets have been good. It is flat and hard. The ball is coming on to the bat nicely. I am enjoying it.

"When we came here in 2002-03, the ball seamed a lot. There hasn't been too much seam movement or swing so far." On his batting philosophy, Sehwag quipped "When I was growing up, I was playing a lot of 10-over and 15-over cricket. If you are batting for 10 overs, you have to score off all 60 balls. That is why my mindset is like that".

"But it's changing now. You must have seen in the last game that I left the first ball very well," Sehwag said. But on a serious note, he said he changed his strategy after playing in Twenty20 matches.

"After getting out early in the Twenty20s, I realised I need to stay at the wicket for at least 10-15 overs. If I stay there for 10-15 overs, we can put ourselves in a good position to get a big score. I did this in the last game. I am pretty happy with my form," he said.

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