Virender Sehwag is arguably considered as one of most attacking opening batsmen in the traditional format of the game and is even credited with redefining the opening in the format also goes to him, thanks to giving sleepless nights to many top fast bowlers in his era.
Sehwag treated Test cricket no different than the white-ball cricket and that proves his scores in the five-day format scoring more than 8500 runs at a strike rate of 82-plus.
The legendary Indian batsman is also known to have re-invented the concept of opening in the Test cricket with his ferocious striking and even many also agreed that but former Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram has a different view on the same.
Many cricket fraternities including the likes of David Warner believe that Sehwag has given the top-class bowlers nightmares at the start of a Test match and even the Aussie credited him for instilling him the confidence to play fearlessly in the red-ball format at the highest level.
Wasim Akram believes that it was never Sehwag who redefined the concept of opening in Test cricket, but Shahid Afridi, crediting the former Pakistan captain for bringing the revolution in the traditional format.
Chatting with Afridi on a YouTube chat show, Wasim said: “In Test cricket, Sehwag came later but in 1999-2000 Shahid Afridi changed the mindset of opening in Test cricket.”
The legendary bowler further added: “Even if I was the bowler, I would know that I can get him out but also know that he can hit me for boundaries. He used to hit lose deliveries for sixes at will.”
Akram further revealed that Afridi, who made his Test debut as an opener against Australia in 1998, was not supposed to be a part of India tour way back in 1999-2000, where the swashbuckling all-rounder hit his maiden Test century in the first Test in Chennai and made his name as a Test batsman.
The pacer added: “I called Imran Khan before the tour selection. I told him ‘skipper I want to take Shahid Afridi on tour but a few selectors were against it. He told me ‘You should definitely take him, he will win a one-two Test matches and make him open the batting'.”
On Afridi’s Chennai knock (141), Akram said: “What a knock it was on that Chennai track. Afridi used to dance down the track and hit (Anil) Kumble and (Suni) Joshi for sixes.”
Noteworthy, Afridi could not establish himself as a regular Test player, featured only in 27 Tests for Pakistan and scored just five hundred, while Sehwag represented India in 104 Test matches and scored 23 centuries, including 2 triple hundreds.
(With IANS Inputs)