Virender Sehwag played in an era when the Indian batting line-up was studded with legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
Despite playing under the shadow of batting greats, Sehwag etched his name in the history books as one of India’s finest opening batsmen.
Speaking about Sehwag, former Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif in a Youtube show ‘Caught Behind’ said: “He used to play to dominate. We are used to openers who were a bit circumspect at the beginning, gauging how the pitch is, who the bowler is whether (Glenn) McGrath, Brett Lee, Wasim Akram or Shoaib Akhtar. But Sehwag was someone who feared none. He was an impactful player, had a great influence in his team and players like him succeed in world cricket.”
Sehwag represented India in 104 Tests, scoring 8586 runs at an average of 49.34 with 23 tons and 32 half-centuries.
Rashid reckons the swashbuckling India opener would have easily scored 10,000 runs in the longest format had he played for any other country.
“Sehwag’s record speaks for him. He has 8 thousand plus runs in Test cricket. He is someone who has always remained under the shadows of other players. He played with Sachin, played with Rahul and remained under their shadow. If he was playing for any other country then he would’ve easily crossed 10 thousand runs, only one and a half thousand runs were remaining.
“Maybe his team had bigger names, bigger players but opponents were always wary of the impact that Sehwag could have on a game,” he added.
In ODIs, Virender Sehwag has 8273 runs to his name from 251 games, including 15 centuries.
Hailing Sehwag’s unique technique, Rashid said: “It’s wrong to say his feet didn’t move. He had unique technique with a very strong base. Was superb on the backfoot, used to cut, pull, hook with ease. In Sydney Test Brett Lee was bowling to him with a third man and deep point in the first over a Test match.
“He had beautiful balance. People say that he had limited feet movement but that was perhaps the reason why he was so successful. And coaches nowadays have started to say that keep your balance with minimum foot movement,” he concluded.