Kris Srikkanth, the latest recipient of the BCCI’s Lifetime Achievement Award, wished he had the kind of discipline in his game Virender Sehwag did. Plenty of similarities have been drawn between the two former India openers with both being aggressive batsmen not holding back on their shots. However, Srikkanth says the one aspect of Sehwag’s batting he wished to have was control.
At times I feel if only I had the discipline of Sehwag, I, too, would have got those runs that he got. Sehwag was a brilliant player but even when he was playing those dazzling shots, he knew how to control his innings and not throw it away,” Srikkanth told Times of India.
“When I think of it now, I feel that I was far ahead of my times in my approach to the game. My game would have been ideally suited to modern-day T20 cricket… be it in Test matches or ODIs, I look at myself as a kind of trend-setter and it had a lot to do with my approach to life which was unorthodox. Even to this day I haven’t changed much.”
Srikkanth had a role to play in each of India’s 50-over World Cup triumph. At the 1983 Prudential World Cup, even though he scored 156 runs from 86 matches, Srikkanth top scored with 38 in India’s winning total of 183 in the final against West Indies. 28 years later, Srikkanth played a huge role as the chairman of selectors when India lifted the World Cup at home in 2011.
“When I took over as the chairman in 2008, my dream was to build a team that could win the 2011 World Cup. God has been kind and we had a captain like MS Dhoni, and the win was still one of the best moments of my cricketing journey. Let me also remind you, we were the ones who gave Virat Kohli the chance to flourish and look where he is today! So it has all been very satisfying,” Srikkanth added.
“The greatest moment for me will always be winning the 1983 World Cup as a player. Even today I can’t believe I was the highest scorer in the final (38 on a green-top against West Indies). That victory was a gamechanger not only for Indian cricket, but for Indians as a whole across the globe. They could go anywhere and say proudly ‘we are the world champions’.”
In 43 Tests and 146 ODIs for India during an 11-year-long career, Srikkanth 6053 runs with six hundreds and 39 half-centuries. Almost 28 years after he retired from international cricket, Srikkanth looks back and picks his best Test and ODI knocks.
“My 116 in the Test match against Australia in Sydney in 1985 off 117 balls is definitely my favourite in the longer version. What made it special was the fact that 85 of those runs came off straight drives. My century at Kolkata against Pakistan (in 1987) was my favourite in ODIs. However, we lost that game with Salim Malik running away with it with a brilliant innings. My 80-odd against West Indies, which had the then fastest bowler Pattrick Patterson, in the 1991 tri-series was also a memorable one,” he said.