I am too late getting into the ICC Hall of Fame, says Virender Sehwag on induction night

Virender Sehwag talks the way he uses to bat, carefree, a bit aggressive, totally raw and pure.

Coming from somebody else it may sound a bit arrogant but when it comes from the newest inductee into the ICC Hall of Fame, it sounds aggressive but also endearing and true.

So on Tuesday when was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame as a member of class of 2023 along with Diana Edulji and Sri Lankan legend Aravinda de Silva, former West Indies bowler Ian Bishop asked Sehwag how does it feel to be part of the ICC Hall Of Fame, Sehwag responded in typical non-chalant manner, ” I think, I am too late.”

As the audience burst into laughter, Sehwag’s response did not sound arrogant despite there being many great former players among the audience including Sir Viv Richards. It was a typical Sehwag resoonse, raw and full of emotions as many would have agreed that there was some truth in what he said considering the impact the former India opener left on all three formats of the game.

The first Indian cricketer to score a triple hundred, Sehwag during his chat with Ian Bishop talked about his first ODI match, his first Test match, his promotion from middle-order to opening the innings in both ODIs and Test cricket.

He talked about asking the then skipper Sourav Ganguly to give him in writing that if he fails, he would get a few more opportunities in middle order. He credited Zaheer Khan for coming up with the suggestion to make his open the innings after Sehwag had scored a hundred on a green top against a West Zone bowling attack including Zaheer, Ajit Agarkar and Santosh Saxena.

“Everybody thinks it was Sourav Ganguly that thought of making him open the innings but it was Zaheer who came up with that suggestion first. He told Ganguly to make me open the innings,” said Sehwag.

Asked what was his philosophy towards cricket, Sehwag said it was “see the ball, hit the ball”. ” I was not somebody who believes in watch the ball, play the ball. There were players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, all legends who were doing that. So, I had to be different from them and that is also the reason why I never thought of changing my style of play,” said Sehwag.

Sehwag was also scathing in his response whike talking about being dropped from the side around 2007. “Here was a guy who has scored a three hundred, was sitting at home and watching it on TV players scoring 30-40 runsin te match. I missed 10-11 matches. I have to thank Anil Kumble for bringing me back into the team,” said Sehwag.

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