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Slater salutes Sehwag

Faisal Shariff in Multan | March 29, 2004 19:58 IST

For Michael Slater, Virender Sehwag is a man after his heart.

Similar in style, the attacking Australian opening batsman was raving about the 'Delhi Demolisher' after he became the first Indian to score a triple century in Tests, on day 2 of the first Test against Pakistan.

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"Sehwag is a special player. His rate of scoring makes him a dangerous customer. The best thing about him is that he hits the ball when he wants. With perfect timing and a brilliant bat flow, Sehwag is surely going to go up several levels as a batsman.

"It is great that he got going on a top batting pitch, but you have to hand it to him to have kept his concentration going despite getting a hundred early on in the innings. The best part of the innings was that he was not satisfied with a hundred and went on and on and on to get a big score."

 Slater praised Sehwag's penchant for scoring boundaries and his relentless attitude to get a big score. He pointed out that the dashing opener played so many shots despite waiting for the right ball to hit.

 "He got going but never overdid it."

Slater said Sehwag's technique was the reality of the way he plays his cricket.

 "When you are naturally aggressive then you live and die by the sword. You play your natural game and win matches for your country. And the best way to silence critics is by scoring consistently and never changing.

"Ian Chappell told me early on in my career never to change my natural game. He told me that my game would change on its own over the years and as I would mature I would get conservative in my batting.

"I see shades of Mark Taylor and me in the opening pair of Akash Chopra and Sehwag. They play the same way as we did. I was fortunate enough to see a great triple ton standing at the other end when Taylor scored 334at Peshawar. The conditions were the same but I reckon the two innings were very different in character."

He also said the triple ton Matthew Hayden scored was also a sharp contrast to what Sehwag scored today, simply because the attacks were different as were the conditions.

"If there was anything similar, it was the concentration level and the aggression."

Surprisingly, Hayden scored his 300 off 362 balls in 529 minutes, while Sehwag achieved his feat off 363 balls in 497 minutes.

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