Indian opening batsman Virender Sehwag, nicknamed as Nawab of Najafgarh is arguably India’s greatest match-winner ever in all forms of the cricket. The Delhi-born has scored over 17,000 international runs to his name and established himself as one of the most dangerous batsman to ever graced the cricket field.
Here we would like to share some of the lesser known facts shared by our friends in Quora for a question about the dashing opener.
- Former Captain Sourav Ganguly narrated this incident in some function when he was asked how authoritative he was as a captain and how well did other team members payed heed to his commands.
The incident happened in the Natwest Trophy 2002 finals where he and Virender Sehwag came out opening. India had to chase 325 to win the match and they had got off to a good start. After 12 overs, India was playing well with a run rate of 7 without losing any wickets. Ronnie Irani started one of the overs and Sehwag smashed him to the boundary on the very first ball. This was a copy book classic cricket shot, so no problems. Sourav walked up and patted him for the shot, and advised him to go coolly for the rest of the over since 4 runs were scored in the first ball. Sehwag responded affirmatively to his advice.
The next ball, Sehwag swung his bat hard, a little uppish in-the-air shot, again, straight to the boundary hoardings. Sourav again walked to him and asked to be calm and try to take 4 singles to make up 12 off the over without taking any further chances. He reminded him of the need to keep wickets for the moment.
Very next ball, four again, this time a reverse sweep. Too risky. Ganguly just stared into the eyes of Sehwag, and gestured showing his palm to say `Cool Down Man`. The next ball again he hit another reverse sweep for another boundary. This time he didn’t say anything nor looked at Sehwag.
Ganguly said Sehwag always played like “Sehwag” i.e., played his natural game always.
2. This incident was shared by Australian legendary spinner Shane Warne, when he chose Sehwag in his list of top 100 cricketers.
“Jeremy Snape told me a great story about him while we were working together in the Indian Premier League. Sehwag and Snape were batting for Leicestershire against Middlesex when Abdul Razzaq started reverse-swinging the ball in the way that the Pakistan bowlers do. Sehwag came up to Snape and said: ‘We must lose this ball. I have a plan.’ Next over, he whacked that ball clean out of the ground, forcing the umpires to pick another from the box that would obviously not reverse straight away. To which Sehwag said: ‘We are all right for one hour.’ Smart, I say.”
3. Virender Sehwag shared about this incident in an interview about the Multan test in which he scored a triple century.
He was batting at 150 and he had already hit 4-5 sixes. Sachin was on crease at that time . He came and told Viru-” Agar tu chhakka maarega to main tujhe maarunga” (“If you try to hit a six, I will hit you”) as he wanted Sehwag not to get out. Then Viru didn’t hit a single six. But when he was nearing 300, Viru went to Sachin and said, “Ab agar Saqlain Mushtaq bowling karega to main chhakka zaroor maarunga”( If Saqlain comes to bowl now, I will definitely hit a six”). And as he wished Saqlain came for bowling and Sehwag lofted him for a magnificent six!. Imagine a batsman hitting a six to complete triple century that too in 2004( 11 years back)!
4. This is from the book “How Sachin destroyed my career” by Vikram Sathaye.
When Sehwag was asked about Ajanta Mendis. He replied, “I don’t consider a spinner as a bowler. I never did.”
(“Bhaisaab spinner ko spinner batsman banata hai ! Agar usse aap ball spin hi naa karne do, aur pahli hi over Mai usse bahar pheink do woh zindgi bhar spin nhi karega”)
Sehwag is Ghajini. He even forgets the format of the game he is playing. And, given a choice, Sehwag would raise his bat even If he got out on a duck!!
5. Indian ace spinner Anil Kumble describing Sehwag,
“Most people first settle down and then hit a six, but Sehwag first hits a six and then settles down.”
As the flamboyant opener is celebrating his birthday today, we wish him a happy birthday and many more cricketing years in his bat. And I would like to end this with his own dialogue, “Agar ek baar main soch liya ki chhakka maarna hai, to koi fark nahi padta hai ki fielders kahan hain”
Update: Sad news for Sehwag fans, Virender Sehwag has retired from all forms of International Cricket and IPL. He has announced this in a tweet he posted at 3 p.m, 29 Oct 2015.