Wisden has raised the expectation level: Sehwag
Known for his simple and audacious batting, Virender Sehwag got another feather in his cap when Wisden Almanac named him as the Test cricketer of the year 2008. Known for his aggressive style of batting, Sehwag has redefined the art of opening batting by taking the challenge to the opposition. There is no side in world cricket that does not come up with a plan against him, as he has the capacity to turn on the heat on opposition right from the start.
Back for a short break in India, the Daredevil dasher answered questions with no holds barred attitude just like his batting. Himanshu Shekhar of Zeecric.com caught up with the Najafgarh Nawab on sidelines of the launch of Delhi Daredevil’s Team shirt.
Himanshu: Viru, congratulations for winning the Wisden Leading Test Cricketer of the Year 2008 award.
Sehwag: Thank You.
What does this award mean to you? Is this the most satisfying point of your career?
Well, I am glad that the recognition has come from none other than Wisden, but the credit for this goes to the entire team. It’s all about playing together and the whole team should be thanked for it. It also increases the expectation level and that is more challenging.
But, is this the most satisfying part of your cricketing career?
Yes, it is a great feeling but it won’t be right to term it as most satisfying moment. Playing for India in itself is the most satisfying aspect. There are many who do not get this opportunity, so when I play that feeling is always there. Nothing can beat the satisfaction that you gain after doing well for India.
Viru, we all know that you were not prepared for captaincy in the second Test during the recently concluded series in New Zealand. Martin Crowe in particular lashed out at your captaincy skills while terming it as ‘worst ever.’ How would you react to that?
Well, I am not aware of any such criticism, but even if I was aware these things wouldn’t have affected me. As a cricketer one is accustomed to comments which some time support you and sometimes hurt you. Regarding Crowe’s comment I came to know it from you.
Your first shot in South Africa was a six in the first T20 match? Was that a deliberate attempt or part of a game plan?
(Smiles) Well, it actually was a miss-hit but it sailed over the stands. There was nothing pre-planned as it never is, but when the ball is there to be hit I just go for it.
You and Gambhir now share a great rapport. Even Ishant talks about your valuable inputs. What role does Delhi play in that camaraderie?
I have been playing for Delhi since 1997 and know every one here. Not just Ishant or Gambhir, but all those who play for the state team or come for practice enjoy a good relationship with me. It definitely becomes easier to communicate when you know the person.
You called Gambhir as the second wall of Indian cricket. What did you mean?
Gambhir has shown brilliant temperament in all formats of the game. He is a perfect team man and supports the batsman at the other end. Batting with him is a joy as you know that the man would fight till his last breath. He deserves that honour.
How do you rate Delhi Daredevils chances in IPL season – 2?
I have been to SA before on five or six occasions. It’s a great place to be and we have enough fire power to deal with conditions there. Our first target would be to book a semi-final berth. We owe it to people of Delhi.
How does it feel to set field for someone like Glenn McGrath?
Well, he is a bowler which every captain would be proud to have in the team. His consistent approach makes that job easier. Conditions in South Africa will suit his type of bowling.
Will you miss Delhi?
Nothing can match the fun of playing in front of the home crowd. It is sad, but as a cricketer one has to be ready for new challenges.
Good luck Sehwag and may you achieve further heights in future.