Virender Sehwag was known to be one of the fiercest and fearless cricketers of his time. His character traits were on display even when he was in the middle, batting as he hit the bowlers all around.
Sehwag’s hitting ability made him one of the greatest batsmen of his generation. Other than his cricketing greatness, wit and humour were something that have always been associated with him. Even during his playing days, he was always among the ones who would be first to crack a joke and make fun out of a complicated situation without caring much.
Speaking in a leadership summit in Singapore, the Nawab of Najafgarh revealed that once during a game, his careless nature had upset Sourav Ganguly while both were batting against New Zealand in a match in 2001.
It was one of the days when everything fell in place for Sehwag and he was middling the ball with ease. But the former Indian captain was apprehensive of his approach and feared that he might lose his wicket. So Ganguly kept asking Sehwag to take it easy and not go after every ball as there was not much pressure of the required rate also.
Sehwag said, “I went in as an opener with captain (Ganguly) only. I was hitting boundaries and Daryl Tuffey came to bowl and I hit him for a boundary. So Dada came up to me and said ‘we need five runs per over because we are chasing only 265 and we have got it.” But Sehwag being Sehwag paid no heeds to Ganguly’s words and went on to hit boundaries of next few deliveries as well.
“I said okay and then hit the second ball for a boundary. He came up to me again and said ‘we have got runs for next over also’. Then I hit a boundary again and he said ‘we have got runs for three overs so please take it easy’. Then I hit the fourth four and he came up to me and said ‘are you going to listen to me or not’? I said yeah but I cannot miss full tosses,” said the Delhi man as he burst out laughing.
While many believe he was a rare talent, Sehwag did not have the best of the starts to his international career. Things changed for him when he was promoted up the order and asked to open the innings by Ganguly. Time and again, Sehwag has conveyed his gratitude to the former captain for giving him the chance to open as he, too, feels it was a career-changing moment for him.