How facing 10 odd balls per game shaped Virender Sehwag's aggressive mentality
Former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag, who recently retired from International cricket, has revealed the story behind his aggressive style of play. Sehwag last played for India in 2013. He has scored 8586 runs from 104 Tests and 8273 runs from 251 ODIs. He might be known to have stuck to his ‘see the ball and hit it’ approach to the game irrespective of match situations in his playing days.
Be it the first ball of the match or when he was batting at 294, he always went for the kill. He was one of the few guys who always liked to deal in boundaries only. But Sehwag said he made changes in his batting techniques early in his career to emulate legend Sachin Tendulkar.
The 37-year-old, who has a staggering career strike rate of 82.23 in Test matches while opening the innings most of the time. He talked about his approach to opening the innings. He also commented how his game-plan changed batsmen opening the innings in an orthodox manner.
Sehwag said, “When I was growing up, I played a lot of 10- and 12-over games, I would bat in middle order. I got only 10-odd balls to face and I tried to score as much as I could. I applied the same approach in domestic and international cricket and people were appreciating my strike rate being more than 80 or 90 in Test cricket.“
I got only 10-odd balls to face and I tried to score as much as I could : Sehwag
The ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ added, “I was just playing my game and not thinking that I have to score quickly or do something different except when I joined the team and wanted to bat like Tendulkar. I realised there could be only one Tendulkar and I changed my stance and backlift. I realised I should change my game and I did it. After that, I was playing with my own technique.”
While he did change his game later on, his unique foundation borne out of necessity gave him a unique perspective.
Sehwag is no doubt one of the most entertaining batsmen of all time but like always, he showed respect to his idol the great Sachin Tendulkar. When asked if there was only one Sehwag as well, he said, “Yes, because of my mindset and the impact I had on the team but there was only one Tendulkar.”