ESPNcricinfo Awards February 19, 2010

Virender Sehwag "would love" to bat at No.4

Cricinfo staff

Virender Sehwag, the Indian opener, has said he "would love" to bat at No.4, even though he may have to wait until Sachin Tendulkar, who occupies that slot, ends his career. Sehwag was speaking at the ESPNcricinfo Awards ceremony in Jaipur, where he won the prize for best Test innings for the second year running. His audacious 293 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai was chosen over four other nominations shortlisted for the award.

"I would love to bat at number four. I know I would not get that till Sachin retires. But I can wait," Sehwag said, despite his enormous success at the top of the order. "I still would like to bat in the middle order. It's difficult to field one-and-half days and then come out to bat in 10 minutes. When you bat at No. 6 like (MS) Dhoni, it allows you some rest. I have been successful as an opener but who knows, maybe I would have been more successful in the middle order."

Sehwag's brutal innings against Sri Lanka included 40 fours and seven sixes, and set up an innings win for India, propelling them to the No.1 ranking in Tests. He had tremendous success in 2009 - an average of 108.98 in six Tests - and in the four Tests he's played this year, he's already managed two centuries. Sehwag said his form would only get better in the years to come. "I'm 31 and I think I'm playing well. And I would get only better in the next three-four years."

Sehwag defended his naturally aggressive approach to batting, saying there were risks involved even if he opted to play more cautiously. "People say I take too many risks. But the fact is, there is risk involved in every shot. You can get out trying to defend a ball as well. At times, people tell me to leave ball outside the off-stump. But some of them can jag back and get you out if you don't play shots. I think if you think so much, you simply cannot bat," he said.

"In my case, it would become risky if I try to become defensive, since my technique is not that good. I think in a different way. When I grew up, I tried to score off every ball, be it a 10-over-match, a 20-over or even a Test match. If I stay in the wicket for say about 30 minutes, I want to make the most of it and score maximum runs possible. You never know when you get out, try to score as much possible before that."

Sehwag added he wished to play 100 Tests for India before retiring from the format. "I want to play 100 Test matches and once I have done that, I may retire from Test cricket," he said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anit on February 20, 2010, 21:42 GMT

    Shewag's point on risks in defense is right on the mark. Its good that we have a unique thought process brought into the game from him. He may be right about retirement after 100 tests. It will take another five years for him to reach 100 test at the rate we are playing tests these days. By than he will be 36-37 years. Age will catch up quicker with his style of playing than a technique and grafting style.

  • Shashank on February 20, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    sehwag is one the big reasn India has startd to win regularly....jst see the pace at which he scores....makes a mess of any attack on his day ..nd der is sharp decrease in run rate when he gets jst paintin the purple patch wont do... i fail to understand why he has to give such commments evrytime abt his battin slot... i mean cumon yar...nobody cares wht u vud hav been ...v nly care 4 wht u hav dne...nd dats why u r respected...sumday if he gets up nd tells dat if he ws 6' tall , he might hav been does that make sense!!!! to comment on dhoni n tendulkar is hardly required at dis time...nd he shud wrk n gainin mre consistency.... he shud undrstand dat tendulkar hs earnd his place at no 4 over hrd wrk f 20 yrs....hez d most consistent batter ovr d years while sehwg is dat 4 last couple f years....nd dhini is basically a keeper who cn bat.... so mr.sehwag ...v all love u please concentrate on ur cricket....leav controversies 4 media!!!!

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    rsquare: are you kidding me. SRT is blatantly incapable of opening an innings. And do you thing with sehwag it will provide same security at middle order that Sachin does ?

  • Arup on February 20, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    @rsquare Why fix somethig that ain't broken...?

  • Arup on February 20, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    That's a depressing thing to say Viru!! I hope nobody lets you bat at 4!! And I hope you carry on playing until your legs and arms come off. Screw technique!! Just bat and hit that damn cherry in your own evanescent way... we love you man!!

  • Sunil on February 20, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    @rsquare - I like the idea of SRT opening the innings if it was a move made when he was like 28 or 29, not at 35 when he has a couple of years left. He's cemented himself there; no need to budge. I think it was inappropriate and silly for Sehwag to air his views (aka desires) publicly while SRT is still very much his peak. By the same token, he might even have failed miserably at #4 - who knows? Often #4 comes in when 2 wickets have fallen for hardly anything as SRT had to experience for much of his career. Playing under those circumstances is a diff ball game. Given that he's such a huge success opening and SRT is a run-machine at #4, why even bring this up and invite discord?

  • Rakesh on February 20, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    While it is great to have an attacking batsman like Sehwag opening the innings and thus helping to negate any early help that the bowlers may get from the pitch, his wish for batting at #4 should be given some serious consideration as he has been expressing that since the start of his career (he made his century on debut at #6). Being an ardent fan of Tendulkar, I do think that he is capable of taking the challenge of opening the innings for India in tests and thus showcasing yet another dimension of his batsmanship to the pundits and the many fans. This will also suit the way he has adapted himself to these days - accumulating runs at a steady pace with a lot more grace and ease (more like Gavaskar - the best opener ever!). With Tendulkar opening the innings with Gambhir, the team can retain a LH-RH opening combination while also having a sheet-anchor (SRT) and an attacker (GG) combination. Looking forward to some comments on this!

  • dushyant on February 20, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    what.....retiring after 100 tests.....| you are the "SIR VIVIAN RICHARDS" for us

    don't do this to Indian fans who love u more than anything.....l

    you don't need to run..... you just have to treat the ball like football and send it to the crowd for HALF A DOZEN.....

    you have still minimum 9 YEARS of test cricket left

  • No featured comments at the moment.