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16 April 2024

Sehwag hits out at opponents

The India vice-captain believes Bangladesh hold no threat today. (AFP)


India vice-captain Virender Sehwag has said Bangladesh are an "ordinary side" and cannot beat his world No1 team in a two-Test series starting today in Chittagong.

"Bangladesh can surprise anybody in one-day matches, but not in Tests. It's an ordinary side," said Sehwag.

The hosts have won only three of their 61 matches since gaining Test status in 2000, losing 52 and drawing six. They have lost four of their five Tests against India, the lone draw coming in a rain-hit match in 2007.

Bangladesh beat an under-strength West Indies 2-0 in an away Test series last year, but Sehwag said his opponents did not have the bowlers to put pressure on a strong Indian batting line-up.

"The kind of batting line-up we have, it's difficult for Bangladesh to take 20 Indian wickets," he said. "Even Sri Lanka can't do that. So it's very, very difficult."

India's batting has been strengthened with the return of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Venkatsai Laxman, who were not part of this month's tri-series.

The visitors became the top-ranked team in Tests when they beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in a home series last year, but Sehwag said his side were focused more on playing good cricket than rankings.

"We are playing a Test match [today] and we're not thinking that we are No1, No2 or No3," he said. "Yes, we have a Test against Bangladesh and we have to do well to win the match."

Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan rebuked claims his side weren't strong enough.

"We have a very good chance in this Test match. Hopefully, our boys will come up with their best," said Shakib. "India have been ranked No1 only recently. South Africa and Australia are much better than them. It's true that the Indians are playing very good cricket, but still they are human.

"They can always make mistakes. If they [do] and we capitalise on them, we will be a very good team."

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons added: "We are not an extraordinary side, but we have proved recently that we are an improving side.

"We will take the Test day by day and hopefully prove Sehwag wrong."


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