Trent Bridge: Young opener Abhinav Mukund on Wednesday said senior pro Virender Sehwag's boots are too big to fill but promised to do his bit for the team's cause in the remainder of the England tour.
Mukund is opening the batting with Gautam Gambhir in the absence of Sehwag, who is recuperating from a shoulder injury.
"If you think I'm going to replace Sehwag well, he is one of the greatest openers for the Indian team and those are big boots to fill. If I try to bat like him, it's not possible. I will play the way I know how to play and if it comes off, it's going to help the team," said the young Chennai opener who made his Test debut in the preceding series in the Caribbean.
Mukund made two decent starts in the first Test at Lord's (49 and 12) but frittered away on both occasions and the left-hander is still rueing the missed opportunities.
"I was very disappointed that I couldn't carry on. I was batting well but I can take the confidence into the next Test. It's every kid's dream to play at the home of cricket and I was excited as well but unfortunately, I couldn't carry on."
In his nascent career, Mukund is face-to-face with perhaps the world's most withering fast bowling attack but he is not the kind of batsman to lose sleep over it.
"It's only my second series so I can't tell (if it is the best bowling attack). But having come from domestic cricket and faced Fidel Edwards bowling at 90 m.p.h, you are prepared to face it. Whatever happens, happens."
Mukund is grateful for the cricketing education he is getting every day during his stint with the Indian team.
"Honestly, spending so much time with the Indian team, you learn every single day. When somebody like Sachin pats you on the back, it can do anyone's confidence a world of good. I too am looking to improve my performance."
The next Test is starting here from Friday and England, up 1-0 in the series, would like to consolidate further in conditions which are ideally suited for seam and swing bowling.
"I haven't seen the wicket. But being world's number one team, we have faced challenges on way to here. A lot of players are experienced enough and played in these conditions. We would give a good fight."
Mukund is also confident that Team India has reserves to cope with the absence of Zaheer Khan, in case it happens.
"Zaheer is our strike bowler. However, Ishant bowled well in the Caribbean, Praveen had a five-wicket haul (at Lord’s) and Sreesanth is waiting in the wings. It's not as if we have a depleted attack. But losing a fast bowler in a game, is a completely different scenario."