Wanted to become Sachin Tendulkar but figured I had to create my own identity: Virender Sehwag

first_imgWhen Virender Sehwag stormed into the international scene almost 20 years ago, fans were awestruck with his uncanny resemblance to Sachin Tendulkar.The Nawab of Najafgargh, as Sehwag came to be known, had a stance similar to Tendulkar and some of his shots would make the Master Blaster proud.However, Sehwag soon carved his own neeche and in a career spanning the better part of two decades, he established several records. He became the first Indian to score a Test triple hundred and is the only Indian to score a second.Sehwag retired with 38 international hundreds and is widely regarded as one of the most destructive opening batsmen in the history of cricket.The 38-year-old Sehwag now serves as Kings XI Punjab’s Director of Cricket Operations and he has taken it upon himself to strengthen the mindset of the young batsmen in the team. KXIP are currently fifth in the IPL points table but there have been some awe-inspiring performances from their batsmen.Besides the usual suspects like Hashim Amla and Glenn Maxwell, young Indian Manan Vohra has impressed with his brute power. But Sehwag knows the dangers of a young batsman being surrounded by powerhouses of world cricket.Is there a danger that Vohra would want to bat like Sehwag or Maxwell? What does Viru tell him then?”I tell them only one thing. For example, Manan Vohra can bat like Manan Vohra only, not like Virender Sehwag or Glenn Maxwell.”A youngster needs to know his strengths and weakness; then it becomes easier to bat or bowl. I also wanted to become Sachin Tendulkar, but I quickly realised that I can’t be.advertisement”I couldn’t perform like him or play shots like him. I figured that I have to create my own identity and so I have to play like Virender Sehwag.”I tell them that you can learn from other players, but you can’t copy from them or be them. You can (only) be you,” Sehwag said.Vohra, 23, is one of KXIP’s brightest sparks. By Sehwag’s own admission, the team depends a lot on its overseas players but the young Indian talent has stood out with some sterling performances. The tear 2014 was a breakthrough one for him, when he scored 324 runs in eight matches.This year, Vohra has been in good touch too. His 95 against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad nearly got them across the line from a desperate situation.With Sehwag in their ranks, KXIP’s young recruits would be assured of quick wit and strong mindsets by the time they are ready to graduate to the next level.last_img read more