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'Virender Sehwag is a pure match-winner'

Last updated on: November 23, 2012 00:28 IST

'Virender Sehwag is a pure match-winner'

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India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh pays tribute to team-mate Virender Sehwag on the occasion of his 100th Test.

It is a fantastic achievement for any cricketer to play 100 Tests. Obviously, Viru has been fantastic for years now, and it is good to see a batch-mate reaching the milestone.

We have known each other from the Under-16 and Under-19 days, so I am delighted to see him reaching that landmark.

We played against each other in an under-16 tournament, where we met for the first time. That was long time back and I don't remember the year. He scored some 60-odd runs in that match. He bowled around the wicket to right-handers and got a few wickets as well.

He is fearless. His approach to batting is simple and he backs his ability. He is the kind of player who is going to play his shots in the middle and nothing bothers him.

I have not seen not many batsmen in modern-day cricket who can destroy an attack as he can, whichever place he bats, whether it is Australia, in South Africa or in India.


Image: Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Phenomenal triple ton against Pakistan

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His triple hundred scored against Pakistan was just phenomenal. He is one of the players who is very hard to bowl to, and from a bowler's point of view he is someone who you want to bat for your team rather than the other team.

It is great to have shared the same dressing room. He is a very dear friend, and, hopefully, he will continue to do well for India.

The way he approaches the game is something very different from others. He likes to dominate, and before the bowlers get to him he loves to show his presence in the middle. You can do that only if you are confident.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Tags: Pakistan , India

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A simple approach

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That is what Viru is all about.

He makes sure that the guys sitting in the dressing room feel that there is nothing in the wicket when he bats. Even against England at Trent Bridge, when he scored a 100 -- where the ball was swinging, bouncing and everything else was happening --  he made it look simple, and got his hundred in no time.

When Sunil Gavaskar asked him after the day's play as to how he does it, he replied: 'That is what I like to do; hit the ball and keep it simple.'

He keeps his words also simple, just like he bats!

He is a very relaxed kind of person, who believes that friendship is something very important. He is quite a jolly person too, not reserved at all and mingles around. Basically, a proper Jaat, very upfront and straightforward.


Image: Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Reuters

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Hungry for big hundreds

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He will say whatever on his mind; he knows what works for him. He can't be a Rahul Dravid or a VVS Laxman.

Similary, a VVS Laxman can't be a Virender Sehwag. They are two different people and two different ways they have in approaching the game.

It shows that if you stick to your strengths and back your ability and keep it simple, it will take you to wherever you want to go. Sehwag has showed that all these years by scoring all those runs and playing his 100th Test.

Not many people would have thought an opener whose strike rate is above 100 in ODIs would have scored as many runs as Sehwag. He is a pure match winner.

If he bats through the day, then he puts the team in a position from where you can't lose, and end up winning most games.

If he bats through the day, then he will be 175 or close to 200, and he showed that whenever he gets a hundred he converts it into a very, very big hundred. That is his quality.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Getty Images
Tags: VVS , Similary

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Tripple ton against the SA was just amazing

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My favourite Sehwag innings is the one he played at Chennai against South Africa, when he scored a triple century, when he had to face bowlers like Makhaya Nitni and Dale Steyn.

He was hitting them for sixes even off the new ball over the covers and I have never seen someone bat like that against a fast bowler. There is another innings which I also like is the 294, against Sri Lanka at the CCI.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Babu/Reuters

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