rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'It will take centuries to produce another Sehwag'

'It will take centuries to produce another Sehwag'

Last updated on: March 21, 2013 20:18 IST

'It will take centuries to produce another Sehwag'

     Next

Next

Virender Sehwag's coach AN Sharma tells Harish Kotian it was unfair to drop the dashing Delhi right-hander. 'He still has a couple of years left in him.'

Virender Sehwag's axing from the Test and ODI teams in the space of two months could well signal the end of his international career. But AN Sharma, his coach, believes the Delhi right-hander still has a couple of years in him, and if he works hard on his game no one can stop him from making a comeback.

"I think he should play till the 2015 World Cup. I believe if he works hard on his fitness he should have no problems playing for another couple of years. You need to work really hard at this stage of your career; if you relax even a bit the comeback becomes very difficult," Sharma told Rediff.com.

The veteran coach hones the skills of kids at his academy in Government School, Vikaspuri, West Delhi, where his one-time favourite pupil Sehwag still turns up for training when not travelling with the Indian team.

Sharma is unhappy that despite bringing so many laurels to the country through his batting, Sehwag was sacked without enough opportunities.

- Meet Test cricket's specs stars

The dashing opener made way for Shikhar Dhawan after failing in the first two Tests against Australia and was not recalled to the opening slot despite Dhawan sustaining an injury and the unavailability of Gautam Gambhir, who is down with jaundice.

"I believe dropping Viru was unfair. When you are winning matches you should not change your winning combination. Also, when you are winning so easily you should give such big players a couple of more chances, because that will also be part of your plans for the future.

"India will be playing a lot of away Test matches later this year, and when you are playing abroad you will see experience counts. You will need players like Viru there," he said.


Image: The Government School in Vikaspuri, East Delhi
Photographs: Harish Kotian
Tags:

     Next

I never told him 'don't play shots or play defensively'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Sharma knows Sehwag since he came to him as a child to learn the basics of the game. Immediately he realized the youngster would turn out to be a special batsman.

He recalled how he refrained from cautioning his ward to curb his attacking batting instincts, in fact telling him to make the most of it.

"He was very small when he came here; even then he was a very attacking player. I never told him 'don't play shots or play defensively'. I told him if you feel the ball is good enough for a boundary then why don't you try for the maximum and hit it for a six. That is how I encouraged him to play... with a positive frame of mind," he said.


Image: AN Sharma at the Government School in Vikaspuri, East Delhi
Photographs: Harish Kotian
Tags:

Prev     Next

'Sehwag started playing the 'Upar Cut' in school'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

One of his fondest memories is the upper cut that Sehwag first played in 1993, in a school match. The shot has become synonymous with the opener and is also called the 'Upar Cut' in Hindi.

"Not many know that he started playing this shot way back in 1993, when he was in school. I still remember, it was a match against Uttar Pradesh and a fast bowler was bowling to him. The ball was short and rising, and outside the off-stump. Sehwag played the upper cut and it went for a six over third man.

"It affected the bowler, so much that he could not bowl after that. Sehwag had scared him by playing a few of those shots," he said.

Asked to name his favourite Sehwag knock, he immediately shot back: "His first triple century against Pakistan at Multan in 2004.

"That triple century is my favourite Sehwag knock. That is special for me because that was the first triple hundred by an Indian.

"He was trying to break Lara's record of 400, but that didn't happen. I always rate that knock very high because that came against a good bowling attack and in a foreign country, on a good wicket."


Image: AN Sharma at the Government School nets
Photographs: Harish Kotian
Tags:

Prev     Next

'It will take time for Sehwag to adjust to specs'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Dwelling on Sehwag's recent decision to sport spectacles in the first two matches of the ongoing Australia series, Sharma informed it was "done on doctor's advice".

"Sometimes, it happens that you face problems spotting the ball, but Sehwag is a good player, with good hand-eye co-ordination. Even when he was batting here, I saw him batting with specs and he told me that his doctor had advised him the same. If the doctor has advised him then I don't think it's wrong to wear specs, but it will take time for him to get adjusted to it," he said.

Sharma went on to reveal that he would work on building power in his ward's hands when he was small so that he could develop his strokes and clear the boundaries with ease.

"I have always worked on his footwork, his technique and his back-lift. Many times his back-lift was away from the body and I used to correct that.

"Sometimes I used to sit behind the nets with a bamboo in my hand and tell him it should hit your bat. There were times when I even made his bat heavier. That's because when you are small you are busy studying and don't have time to go to the gymnasium. I gave him a heavier bat to build his hand muscles. I also used sand to make his bat heavier so that he could build the power on his hands. That has helped him play the big shots with ease," he said.


Image: Sehwag in spectacles during the first Test against Australia
Photographs: BCCI
Tags:

Prev     Next

'India will do well to keep the swashbuckling opener in the loop'

Prev     More
Prev

More

Sharma said Sehwag is not dejected at being axed from the team, but "India will do well to keep the swashbuckling opener in the loop and utilize his services for another two years, at least".

"He was not sad at all at being dropped. He has accepted the decision and taken it in his stride. I am sure he will work hard on his game and make a comeback again. But India must not write him off yet, because it will take centuries to produce another Sehwag!

"I spoke to him and told him, 'Don't worry son, you have been dropped before also. Just work hard and you will be back in the team soon'.

"I believe that every player goes through this phase in his career when the going gets tough. It is part and parcel of the game."


Image: AN Sharma stands next to the pitch where Sehwag started playing as a kid
Photographs: Harish Kotian
Tags:

Prev     More