Legendary Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq has hailed Virender Sehwag for changing the mindset of Indian cricket. Sehwag was one of the most fearsome batsmen during his playing days and left behind a legacy of his own. Sehwag had his own theory that he is there to dispatch the ball to the boundary and followed it throughout his career, with a great amount of success. He had a strike rate of 82.2 in Tests, 104.3 in ODIs and 145.3 in T20Is, and Saqlain Mushtaq believes that the credit for the transformation of Indian cricket should go to Sehwag.
“Keep in mind that the impact Virender Sehwag had on the world, the style in which he played, the brand of cricket he played, a lot of players from India benefitted from it. The manner of batting he showed the world, changed Indian cricket’s mindset and that of its cricketers,” Saqlain said on his YouTube channel.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma is often compared with Virender Sehwag but Saqlain believes that it’s not easy to replicate what Sehwag did to the bowlers. He further added that even though Rohit Sharma has a better record, it would not have been possible without following the template that Sehwag set, adding that only Vivian Richards played that brand of cricket before.
“Sehwag lifted the bar and showed the way with his self-belief. Sehwag scored a double century in ODIs so players believed it could happen, like Rohit Sharma. In fact, Rohit must have learnt a lot watching Sehwag bat,” Saqlain added.
“Rohit’s stats may look prettier than Sehwag but Viru he had a role behind it. He played for himself, the country and changed the thinking of the players that came after him. Before him, only 1-2 players like Sir Viv who used to play that brand of cricket in ODIs and ruled over the world, and Zaheer Abbas. They ruled the world and similarly, Sehwag also dominated world cricket.”