Sehwag is a great player; it's a joy to play with him: Tendulkar
Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar tells Harish Kotian that having a player like Virender Sehwag in the team is a big advantage.
Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar paid rich tributes to team-mate Virender Sehwag, who will complete a hundred Tests when India take on England in the second match of the series in Mumbai on Friday.
Tendulkar, who himself has played 191 Tests so far, hailed the dashing opener's contribution to Indian cricket.
"I think it is a very big milestone to play 100 Test matches. His commitment, his focus, his discipline and his dedication... he has done a lot for Indian cricket," Tendulkar told Rediff.com on the eve of the second Test.
'He is a wonderful player to be around'
Like cricket lovers over the world, the batting icon revealed he is also a great Sehwag fan and enjoys watching him destroy bowling attacks.
"It is a fabulous achievement. He is a great player and it is a joy to play with him," he added.
Sehwag, he feels, makes a huge difference to the outcome of a match once he gets going at the top of the batting order.
"He is a wonderful player to be around. He has the ability to put the opposition on the backfoot in the first session itself; so, to have a player like that in the team in itself is a big advantage," he said.
'We both scored a century in that match vs SA'
Sehwag, who made his Test debut in 2001, has a batting style similar to Tendulkar's and has confessed to being inspired by the legendary batsman when he took up cricket as a kid.
"It is a fantastic feeling. I remember he said that a long time ago that when I used to bat he would watch my batting on television and try to copy my batting style.
"And then the icing on the cake was, I felt, when he was batting with me in South Africa in his debut Test match. We both scored a century in that match and that was a wonderful moment," Tendulkar recalled.
'There have been many innings which I like'
Asked to pick his favourite Sehwag innings, Tendulkar came up with his dogged knock of 151 in the second innings against Australia in Adelaide, in January 2008.
Sehwag showed great application to bat for nearly six hours, helping India escape with a draw in the fourth and final Test.
"There have been many innings which I like, but one innings which I felt was different was in Adelaide four years ago, during India's last tour of Australia in 2007-08.
"He scored a hundred, around 150-odd. I thought his innings was completely different. He was patient. The need of the hour was to be patient and to occupy the crease for as long as possible. According to me, that was a different innings I saw from Viru and was very impressed," he said.
'He trusts his instincts and reacts accordingly'
What is notable about Sehwag is that he has never changed his approach to batting even when out of form.
Even Tendulkar agrees that the attacking approach works best for the Delhi opener.
"That is his style. It has worked for him. He trusts his instincts and reacts accordingly.
"He has always been a stroke player and trusted his judgement. It is wonderful to see that."