Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq heaped rich praise on former Indian opener Virender Sehwag saying that he changed the landscape of Indian batting with his style of play.
Virender Sehwag is arguably one of the best openers India has ever produced. Opening the innings Sehwag achieved various milestones and had a strike rate of 82.2 in Tests, 104.3 in ODIs, and 145.3 in T20Is.
He was the first Indian batsman to score a Test triple hundred when he made 309 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004 and then became only one of the four batsmen to make two triple centuries in Tests when he made 319 against South Africa in 2008 in Chennai.
In a video posted on his YouTube channel, former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq lauded Virender Sehwag for the impact he had with his batting and said that that the way with which he batted changed the mindset of Indian cricket.
"Keep in mind that the impact Virender Sehwag had on the world, the style in which he played, the brand of cricket he played, a lot of players from India benefitted from it. The manner of batting he showed the world, changed Indian cricket's mindset and that of its cricketers," Saqlain Mushtaq said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Mushtaq said that Sehwag lifted the bar for cricketers with his self-belief. He feels that India's current opener Rohit Sharna must have learned a lot by watching the veteran bat. He further observed that although Rohit's current stats are 'prettier than Sehwag, the latter had a huge role to play in it.
"Sehwag lifted the bar and showed the way with his self-belief. Sehwag scored a double century in ODIs so players believed it could happen, like Rohit Sharma. In fact, Rohit must have learnt a lot watching Sehwag bat.
"Rohit's stats may look prettier than Sehwag but Viru had a role behind it. He played for himself, the country, and changed the thinking of the players that came after him,” he said.
Saqlain Mushtaq further said that the brand of cricket which Sehwag played was one that only a handful of cricketers including Sir Viv Richards and Zaheer Abbas displayed before him.
“Before him, only 1-2 players like Sir Viv who used to play that brand of cricket in ODIs and ruled over the world, and Zaheer Abbas. They ruled the world and similarly, Sehwag also dominated world cricket,” he concluded.