Brett Lee praised Virender Sehwag endlessly, describing him using the richest adjectives while explaining why his unpredictable hitting style made him so difficult to play. He then compared Sehwag to Sachin Tendulkar and told stories that made him realize his immense talent.
India has been blessed with producing great opening pairs over the generations, be it Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth or Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. However, perhaps none of them have been as destructive as the partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Two of the finest batsmen the country has produced, the duo reigned supreme in international cricket for years and had teams around the world dreading the prospect of facing them. Former Australian pacer and one of the greatest speed bowlers of all time Brett Lee was no different.
The legend has had big battles with the two during his career and although he has repeatedly called Sachin his toughest challenge, Lee has revealed that Sehwag isn’t far behind. The flamboyant fly-half had subjected the point guard to numerous attacks during his time on the international stage, his most memorable performance being a magical 195 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the opening round of the Boxing Day Test in 2003. Lee particularly pointed to the unpredictability of Sehwag. as his secret to success.
“You think of the word cruel. You think of the word swashbuckling. Think of the unpredictable world, I only think of Virender Sehwag. He played with a smile on his face, with intent…the type of guy who would most likely I want to hit the first pitch of a test match for six… and he did. He’s such a hard guy to play with because, like I mentioned, the unpredictability. You’d play that nice line and that length thinking I did it…fit ball. And that big smile, Sehwag would BANG, hit you for cover for six,” Lee said on his YouTube channel. Brett Lee TV,” as reported by Hindustan Times.
Sehwag and Tendulkar racked up nearly 4,000 runs opening together in ODIs alone, with their partnership averaging over 40. Sehwag initially started out as a mirror image of Tendulkar before eventually developing a style and stance that would suit him. are clean. Lee recalled an incident that occurred when he realized Sehwag’s immense potential.
“The guy who looked a bit like Sachin Tendulkar when he was beating. And I thought ‘here we go again. Another Sachin Tendulkar. If one wasn’t enough, we have another and he opens the stick”. We in the Australian team had a scheme for Sehwag and even started the test match with a third man, trying to suck him in for hit one over there. We tried that in an ODI match one day and he screwed it up…absolutely nailed it from the pitch. I just thought ‘that guy is too good’. And he was doing you this little cheeky wink. The best thing about Sehwag was that he was a character. He loved playing cricket and those little battle scars from the pitcher. He has the ability to make people hooked in the seats,” said revealed Lee.
Sehwag ended his international career with over 17,000 international races, split almost evenly between Tests and ODIs. While his 100+ strike rate in ODI suggests this must have been his most successful format given that it suited his aggressive style, the truth is the 43-year-old has a much higher average against the red ball, a remarkable 49.34. Lee offered his theory on why the batsman has achieved such success in the game’s longest format.
“A lot of people have asked, ‘Is he more a one-day cricketer or a T20 cricketer? I do not believe that. I think he was perfectly suited for Test cricket because the hardest thing as a bowler when bowling the first ball of a Test match, you’re trying to find some rhythm. When do you do that and your first ball goes for four, that can really be a lot of a bowler’s mind. I had great battles on the court, he’s a great guy Virender Sehwag, you’re a superstar and I hope there are a lot more hitters who emulate your hitting style,” Lee pointed out.
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