New Delhi: Virender Sehwag, who called curtains on his illustrious career on Tuesday, has heaped praise on Sourav Ganguly, saying that he wouldn't have flourished as an opener if the former Indian captain hadn't sacrificed his opening spot in limited-overs.
"Ganguly sacrificed his place to allow me to open with Sachin Tendulkar. I am the luckiest one as Ganguly had love for me and had confidence in me," Sehwag said in an exclusive interview to ANI.
The 37-year-old also said that he would always remain thankful to Ganguly for backing and giving him the opportunity during his Test debut against South Africa in 2001.
"Initially I was seen only as a one-day cricketer but Ganguly backed me and gave me opportunity for which I will always be thankful to him till the time I am associated with cricket," Sehwag added.
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"If Ganguly hadn't backed me, perhaps I wouldn't have played Test cricket and wouldn't have scored these many runs and hundreds," said Sehwag, who is popularily known as the Nawab of Najafgarh.
Considered as one of India's greatest opening batsman, Sehwag has scored 8,586 runs at an average of 49.34 in 104 Tests and has amassed 8,273 runs at an average of 35.05 in 251 ODIs.
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He holds multiple records including the highest score made by an Indian in Test cricket (319) and the fastest triple century in the history of international cricket (he scored 300 in 278 balls).
Sehwag was also part of the victorious squad in the 2007 World Twenty20 and Cricket World Cup in 2011.