It’s been some years that Virender Sehwag has bid adieu to cricket but he continues to steal the limelight even now, be it with his witty takes on issues on the social media or on the public platform. The former explosive opener recently attended the HT-Mint Asia Leadership Summit 2019 in Singapore and there too, his sense of humor had its best display.
The 40-year-old, on this occasion, shared a hilarious mid-pitch exchange with former captain Sourav Ganguly during an ODI match in Sri Lanka in 2001. Sehwag has time and again expressed his high respect for Ganguly under whom he had excelled the most.
That 2001 tri-series remains a special one in Sehwag’s career as he was asked to open for India for the first time during that series. Maestro Sachin Tendulkar was unavailable in that tournament which made the promotion of Sehwag up the order easier and his career took a sharp turn since his 13th innings when he opened against New Zealand alongside Ganguly and slammed a 70-ball 100. It was his first international hundred and Sehwag changed the definition of opening forever. He later went on to hit two triple hundreds while opening for India in Tests.
Coming back to the 2001 series, Sehwag scored 33, 27 and zero while opening in the first three matches before playing that career-changing knock against the Black Caps which helped India to win by seven wickets to make the final. Sehwag has now revealed the funny conversation he had with Ganguly during that crucial game.
Sehwag kept on hitting fours despite caution from Ganguly
It was during the 11th over of the chase (NZ had scored 260-plus runs) that Sehwag belted pacer Daryl Tuffey for four boundaries and one big six to put India in control. However, as he revealed, Ganguly was not too sure with his hitting and kept on advising him to curb his natural instincts. But Sehwag was little bothered and Ganguly eventually gave up on him.
“I went in as an opener with captain (Ganguly) only. I was hitting boundaries and Daryl Tuffey came to bowl and I hit him for a boundary. So Dada came up to me and said ‘we need five runs per over because we are chasing only 265 and we have got it,” Sehwag said.
“I said okay and then hit the second ball for a boundary. He came up to me again and said ‘we have got runs for next over also’. Then I hit a boundary again and he said ‘we have got runs for three overs so please take it easy’.”
“Then I hit the fourth four and he came up to me and said ‘are you going to listen to me or not’? I said yeah but I cannot miss full tosses,” he added.
India won the game with more than four overs to spare. Sehwag and Ganguly (64) added 143 runs for the first wicket to give India a strong foundation to win the game.
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