Graeme Smith

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Sehwag’s innings was the best I have seen

India certainly dominated proceedings on day four of this Test. Or let's say, Virender Sehwag did. The trouble is, because of the flatness of the pitch, and the high moisture content in the air, the ball is doing nothing at all: neither through the air, nor off the pitch. So the bowlers are getting nothing in terms of reverse swing or spin. While the track will probably take some spin tomorrow and on Sunday, today belonged to Sehwag.

In terms of stroke making, Sehwag's innings was the best I have seen. Sometimes, even though you are in the opposition, you can't help admiring an innings, even if it goes against you. Purely in cricketing terms, Sehwag played an incredible innings. He just proved better than all of us today, and you have to give him credit for that.

I tried all the options that I could -- my bowlers went over and round the wicket, and were aggressive and defensive by turn-but nothing worked. And the new ball was due but I didn't take it because my bowlers were tired and it would have been unfair to hand them a hard ball that would be belted all over the place given the mood Sehwag was in.

In the bus on the way back to the hotel, it occurred to me that he must be thinking about a 400-plus score that would break Brian Lara's record. Sehwag's the kind of guy who'll probably try and hit a six when he's on 399 and get out. But that's the way he always plays and he's got two triple centuries to his name now, so I don't see anyone carping about his style.

Finally, though, I would like to give our young bowlers all credit for running in tirelessly on an unforgiving pitch all day. They never gave up, and you never should in these situations. A lot of people might say that Dale Steyn achieved far greater success on the flat tracks of Pakistan and Bangladesh, but we can't remember having played on a track quite as flat as this in recent times.

But the beauty of sport is that you can take nothing for granted, and we have to come back tomorrow and start all over again. It's likely to be another hard morning, but it will also be a lesson in keeping your head in tough situations for this young bowling attack. (Gameplan)

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