Friday, Dec 02, 2022

Virender Sehwag to his sons: Break my record, I will present you a Ferrari

Virender Sehwag speaks to Harsha Bhogle and talks about his cricketing journey.

Virender Sehwag, Virender Sehwag India South Africa, South Africa India, India vs South Africa, IndvSA, SAvInd, Cricket News, Cricket Virender Sehwag poses for a picture with his wife, two sons and mother. (Source: Express Photo by Ravi Kanojia)

Virender Sehwag was felicitated by the BCCI before the start of the fourth Test between India and South Africa on Thursday. DDCA, too, did their bit by temporarily naming two stands as Viru 309 and Viru 319. After the little ceremony, the former India opener spoke to commentator Harsha Bhogle. Excerpts

Q: You always came across as a fun-loving cricketer, playing with a smile or humming a song while batting. But have you got emotional this morning?

I am also a human being, at some stage I have to show my emotions and today was the day. I am lucky I have my family with me. I started my career from this ground (Feroz Shah Kotla). It has been a long journey. There are lot more people to thank whom I have forgot to mention in my speech. Mr Arun Jaitley, Mr Ranbir Singh Mahendra, Mr Srinivasan. They all contributed to my career somehow, they looked after me when I got injured.

Q: When you look back at your career you must say ki maine koi badi cheez haasil ki hai (I have achieved something big)

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Yes, obviously. If you take a look at Test cricket four or five names come in your mind like (Sachin) Tendulkar, (Sunil) Gavaskar. But if you look at the individual feats in Test cricket for India then the first name that come to your mind is of Virender Sehwag, the second name is of Virender Sehwag and the third name is also of Virender Sehwag. So I feel proud that my name comes before these stalwarts. Maybe I was lucky that I had that technique which helped me get a couple of scores in 300s. (309 and 319)

Q You don’t score 300 runs just because of luck, you need to have the talent for such feats

A: No, you need to be lucky to get those scores. When I scored 309, Pakistan dropped some of my catches, the same thing happened during my innings of 319 against South Africa. There were many talented cricketers but they didn’t have long India careers.

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Q A boy like you who grew up in Nazafgarh (outskirts of Delhi), you used to change two buses to get to the ground. Do you still remember those days?

A: Yes I still remember those days. I used to board Bus No. 783 which used to drop me at ITO. And from there on I used to walk to Kotla to take part in U-19 trials. One of my best friends, Dharmesh Gupta helped me financially to buy a scooter later on.

Q One lasting memory of the game?

A: My hundred on debut. Because people used to say my batting style suits ODIs and I used to think that I have scored runs in four-day Ranji Trophy games so I must get an opportunity to play Test cricket for India. So when I got the opportunity, I scored a hundred. That memory will stay with me forever.

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Q: You always hummed a song while batting, always had a smile on your face while playing. So you never had a slightest of nervousness while batting?

A: Actually I was better prepared. I used to prepare in advance on how the bowler is going to bowl, whether is he going to bowl an outswinger or an inswinger? I used to watch the videos of the bowler, and used to prepare in advance.

Q: Any regrets?

A: I thought I could have breached Brian Lara’s 400 runs. When I scored 319, I was unbeaten at 309 but then got out. So I think I could have reached that mark but unfortunately I missed it.

Q: It’s a lovely day, you have your family by your side, your Mom (Krishna Sehwag) was mentioned a lot for your success. Your kids are enjoying at Kotla more than you today?

The first thing they asked me is whether they can witness live action? I told them you will even have the opportunity to meet some of the players. So they are very excited.

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Q: You once said that your kids are teased in school as you were not scoring runs. You must give them a list of scores of 319, 309 and 293?

Yes, my kids know I have made some humongous scores in Test cricket. So I have told them, if you cross that 319-run mark even in school cricket, I will present you a Ferrari.

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Q: We as commentators and even the fans have enjoyed those innings, do you have something to say for your fans?

I want to thank all of them who came to watch me, who backed me in by bad times. May be some time i have got out early and not able to entertain you but I hope you keep on cheering for Team India the way you guys have cheered for me.

First published on: 03-12-2015 at 02:55:21 pm
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