Gautam Gambhir pens emotional tribute to Virender Sehwag on his retirement

Gautam Gambhir Virender Sehwag
Srikant Kannoth Kombra
Gambhir hailed Sehwag as India’s greatest opening batsman and match-winner

Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag's long-time teammate for India and Delhi, has penned an emotional tribute to the 37-year-old who officially announced his retirement from international cricket and the IPL earlier on Tuesday, Times of India reports. Gambhir described Sehwag as his “friend” and “brother” and hailed the swashbuckling batsman as India’s greatest match-winner.

"He (Sehwag) is India's greatest opening batsman and match winner. There won't be another player like Sehwag. Because you would rarely find someone with such an uncluttered and uncomplicated mind. There won't be many who would stick to his style in times of failure," Gambhir told the PTI in an interview.

"Look, most of (us) ordinary mortals have self-doubts when we face (a) crisis but Viru never felt that he needed to change anything. Trust me it's not easy for anybody and everybody in today's world where there is such intense media scrutiny. Till his last day in competitive cricket, he stuck to his self-belief," Gambhir said.

Gambhir feels he and Sehwag were individuals with contrasting personalities and revealed that in spite of playing together for Delhi, it was India’s victorious run in the inaugural T20 World Cup held in South Africa in 2007 that really brought them together.

"People make a mistake thinking that two people with identical mindset gel well. For us, it was the case of two different people understanding each other. It helped our game also. We came close during the 2007 World T20," recollected Gambhir. "He had then just made a comeback after being dropped for England tour. We both were trying to settle down. We helped each other a lot and thus grew a bond. I got a friend and a brother."

Gambhir recalls the two best partnerships he had with Sehwag

Gambhir formed a formidable opening partnership with Sehwag in Test cricket with the pair averaging more than 50 in 87 innings together. The 34-year-old recalled the 137-run stand they put on in the opening Test against South Africa at the Centurion in 2010 as the most memorable one.

"We were 136 all out in (the) first innings and we had a nearly 170-odd stand in the second innings. We tackled Steyn and Morkel really well. There would be times I could tell him to face a particular bowler as I took on the other," he said.

That match ended on a losing note for India though, and Gambhir felt that their effort against Sri Lanka in the Ahmedabad Test in 2009 that helped the hosts draw the match after conceding a 334-run lead after the first innings was one of their most important partnerships.

"Second in the list would be a match saving one in Ahmedabad where Mahela Jayawardene got a double-hundred. Thus, we grew as a person as well as batting partners. Sehwag will always be special, the best on-field partner I have ever had," Gambhir said.

Edited by Staff Editor


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