'We are looking at a total in excess of 500'
Flamboyant opener Virender Sehwag on Thursday said he and and Rahul Dravid did not even once discuss their different batting styles even as they struck contrasting centuries on the opening day of the first cricket Test against New Zealand in Ahmedabad.
While Sehwag was his usual aggressive self, scoring a quick hundred, Dravid took time to get into groove and gradually improved his strike rate.
Sehwag's 173 came off 199 balls while Dravid took 227 balls for his 104-run knock.
In the process, they shared a splendid 237-run stand for the second wicket, their 10th century-stand, and helped India reach a solid 329 for three at close.
Sehwag said they were talking to each other regularly but 'how to get runs' never became a topic.
"I play my way and he plays his way. He has his own style and I bat in my style. We were chatting a lot but it wasn't about how quickly he should score or I should. He knows how to get runs and he got them," said Sehwag, who had put on a mammoth 410-run stand with Dravid at Lahore in Pakistan in 2006.
Sehwag said the hosts are looking to pile up a total in excess of 500 tomorrow to put New Zealand under pressure.
"We are looking at 500 or 550. If we can reach there we can put pressure on the New Zealand batsmen as the wicket is a slow and I think it will start to turn on the third or fourth day," said Sehwag who slammed his 22nd Test ton, said.
Image: Virender Sehwag plays a shot
'The wicket is becoming slow'
Sehwag said he hurt his right knee when he fell down while running between the wickets in the morning and the pain became intense after tea.
"Till tea I was batting well but after tea there was pain in the knee and I could not concentrate," said the Delhi dasher, who struck 24 fours and a six in his 199-ball essay.
Sehwag's hundred was his sixth in just the last 13 Tests in just over a period of 12 months, during which he and Sachin Tendulkar have been the bulwarks of the Indian batting.
The Delhi dasher had come into the match with five 100-plus and one 200-plus scores.
Asked about the wicket, Sehwag said it was good to bat on in the morning before it got slower.
"The wicket is okay. It depends on the bowlers, how to use it. In the morning the ball came on to the bat and we scored over 120 runs. It's becoming slow," he said.
Sehwag said the Kiwis new-ball attack was a bit handicapped by the fact that Chris Martin, though experienced with over 50 Tests under his belt, was bowling for the first time in India while Hamish Bennett was making his debut.
"One bowler is not experienced in bowling on Indian wickets while the other is a debutant. Bennett is a good bowler and would learn from this experience. He has an awkward action which is a bit difficult to pick," he said.
Asked about Tendulkar approaching a new landmark, his 50th Test ton, Sehwag said the champion batsman approaches every match as if it was his first.
"It's important to treat every match the same way and that's what he does. He always plays like it is his first Test, in a similar way," he said.
Image: Rahul Dravid