India couldn’t have won the first Test without Sachin Tendulkar’s contribution, but we’re a great believer in sportsfolk affecting the opposition and influencing matches that way.
We wrote about how Virender Sehwag’s approach to batting turns bowlers into smeared-panted long-hop machines, but we reckon he transformed the whole England side into a defensive outfit who could then be conquered by other batsmen. We’d go so far as to say that if a different batsman had opened and scored the same number of runs as Sehwag, England would have won.
Most strikingly England’s opening bowlers are irreparably damaged, but the whole team’s been knocked down a few notches and we’d be surprised if they could muster the confidence and the will to attack that would be vital if they were to win the second Test.
People often mistake outward confidence for the real thing and think that positive talk actually helps, but in reality all that’s near worthless. If two opponents both believe that they’ll win, one will be proved wrong. If only one side believes that they’ll win, it’s no contest.
Speaking about Sehwag, Andrew Strauss said:
“He plays a game most people are unfamiliar with. He almost manipulates the field. You change it and it’s like he says: ‘Right, I’m going to hit it somewhere else now’.”
Do England believe that they can the better of Sehwag if they say that about him?
India dropped Virender Sehwag once. Mental.