July 20, 2010

'I could never plan against him'

Virender Sehwag takes his hat off to a bowler he was never quite able to figure out how to play comfortably
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I will miss facing Murali. He is the most difficult bowler I played against. I am happy that I don't have to face him again, but at the same time I am disappointed he will not be around anymore in Test cricket.

He was difficult because I could never plan against him. I would try to watch his hand, and if I could pick him, I would play. Otherwise I would watch the ball closely to try to get an idea of the type of delivery he had bowled.

The first time I faced him, in the tri-series in 2001, was a nightmare because I could hardly pick any of his variations. At times he would spin it at right angles, making my job nearly impossible. I tried to play him defensively and cash in against the other bowlers, because I was never comfortable against Murali. That's something that never changed.

One of the reasons I could never prepare against him was because he varied his pace smartly. In that tri-series, my original plan to combat him was to dominate, try and hit some sixes. But he figured that out and had me caught easily at long-off. Then in the 2003 World Cup, when I was batting well on 66, I hit him over midwicket without picking the doosra and was caught at long-on. There were so many occasions like that when I was confused about whether it was his offbreak or the doosra, and didn't have the time to adjust my body position or my mind to play accordingly. That is how he controlled me.

He would never give you any easy balls; you had to remain patient and improve your skills. He would be quick first up, then he would introduce the doosra, then he would suddenly bowl a really slow ball.

He was always at you, keeping you guessing. Over the years I learnt I needed to be patient. I think that helped me get those three centuries I made against Sri Lanka in the last three years - a double-century in Galle, a century in Kanpur and another double in Mumbai, last December - though I must admit his pace and spin were not as lethal in those matches as they were when I played him for the first time. In a way, those hundreds sort of offset the troubles I had against him previously.

Though I've managed to make some runs against him, I could never pick his doosra. It might sound strange but I can pick that delivery off any other spinner, but with Murali I was stumped. In the 2008 Galle Test, I decided to treat every ball as if it was a doosra and play it towards cover. I didn't hit the ball hard, just used timing to direct it towards cover. Along with that, I waited for loose balls to play shots on the back foot.

Murali doesn't spin the ball so much any more. It's hard to believe this was the same man who could, at one time, pitch it well outside off and get the ball to hit the stumps. That changed when he began bowling a lot of doosras and straighter ones; they probably affected his turn. Yet the doubt remains in my mind. Tomorrow if I walk out, I cannot say for certain that I will score against Murali. I can say that for other bowlers. And that applies through a match: against other bowlers, I usually find it easy to score over a period, but with Murali it did not matter if I was on 0, 10 or 100 - he was always a challenge.

I don't think any bowler likes to show his hand to a batsman, especially to one like me. But Murali is a very good friend. I don't know if he was joking or being serious but he once told me he did not bowl slower deliveries to me because he believed I would hit him out of the ground. He bowled quick so as to not allow me much time to hit or pick the doosras from the offbreaks. It was nice of him to say that. He knows I like to dominate bowlers, but he was equally dominating.

The first thing a young spinner could learn from Murali is a lesson in humility. His patience was also amazing. He told me sometimes he had to bowl 40-50 overs to get a five-for and at times he got it in just 15 overs. To excel at the highest level, you have to be able to exercise patience and have a strong character. That is the best thing anyone can learn from Murali.

I was lucky to be alongside him in the World XI team that played Australia a few years ago. It only confirmed my opinion of him. His best quality is his simplicity. He is down-to-earth; he doesn't make you feel he is a world record-holder. He always makes you feel comfortable in his company. On the field I've never seen him get aggressive or yell at anyone. He always challenged the batsman in a nice manner and motivated his team with a smile and through hard work. Even for an opponent, he was a shining example.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BeCalmAndSupportEngland on July 22, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    As a srilankan really proud about you all time great virender sehwag.At the moment he is da best batsman on the earth.It is great to hear those kinds of comments from All the Indian fans who commented on this article.Just forget about bedi he is talking nonsense.

  • Natx on July 22, 2010, 0:38 GMT

    @ Smithie - Bedi is all done but his weird brain is still uttering nonsense. He doesn't understand how much the world has changed and what treatment bowlers are getting nowadays against batters. Give him an open challenge to come and bowl to any batsmen in Twenty20 for one match and he will never open his mouth again and forget how he ever bowled in his lifetime. Given the amount of high speed cricket context nowadays, getting a praise from one of the hardest hitters of cricket ball in itself speaks volumes about Murali. You guys still believe the likes of Bedi and listen to what they say - please grow up..!

  • on July 21, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    we will truly miss you murali..........

  • Lion_of_Lanka on July 21, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    @Smithie : Because no one cares about Bishan Bedi and his dumb comments. The cricketing WORLD would remember Sehwag in another 20 years time but NOT Bedi. Bedi is not even the best spinner India has ever produced (Kumble is) but he tends to insult the BEST spinner in the WORLD. That's like a school boy cricketer insulting Tendulkar's batting. Appreciated the guard of honour Indians gave Murali when he came to bat and I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow. Come On Murali 2 more!!

  • vivek464 on July 21, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    An excellent bowler, and a good sportsman. Sehwag is also a very exciting bat. Cheers!! Vivek

  • Ponmuhil on July 21, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Thats pleasing to the ears! .. hearing a great batsman complimenting the spin legend. This is why cricket is still called the gentleman's game. And this is exactly why Sehwag and Murali, along with Sachin and Dravid remain as my all-time favourite heroes .. respecting the opponents for what they are .. professionalism and complete dedication to the game. the aussies need to learn something from these men. Anyways, I hope Murali takes 800 wickets tomorrow (eventhough it is against my home team!).

  • on July 21, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    The legend,the master,the spider of cricket

  • chaithan on July 21, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    I am Indian and a big fan of both Sehwag and Murali. While watching the test, I was torn between supporting India and hoping Sehwag scored big and praying that Murali got 800. These two are both great sportsmen. And the guard of honour given to Murali by the Indians was really sporting. Hope I see more gestures like it.

  • on July 21, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    Sehwag is a good batsmen fullstop. But does anyone remember when stephen Fleming scored 274 against sri lanka in Sri Lanka? That was a great knock and i reckon Flem played him really well.

  • CricFan24 on July 21, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    @kamarijones: Actually Lara had that one good series vs. murali. and then another match later. In other matches mostly in the '90s Lara was pretty poor vs. murali. Anyway, the best way to play murali seems to be not to plan vs. him. But simply switch to LEFTIE!! Practically all the good lefties - Lara, Fleming,Flower, Gambhir etc etc have played Murali much better than the righties.

  • BeCalmAndSupportEngland on July 22, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    As a srilankan really proud about you all time great virender sehwag.At the moment he is da best batsman on the earth.It is great to hear those kinds of comments from All the Indian fans who commented on this article.Just forget about bedi he is talking nonsense.

  • Natx on July 22, 2010, 0:38 GMT

    @ Smithie - Bedi is all done but his weird brain is still uttering nonsense. He doesn't understand how much the world has changed and what treatment bowlers are getting nowadays against batters. Give him an open challenge to come and bowl to any batsmen in Twenty20 for one match and he will never open his mouth again and forget how he ever bowled in his lifetime. Given the amount of high speed cricket context nowadays, getting a praise from one of the hardest hitters of cricket ball in itself speaks volumes about Murali. You guys still believe the likes of Bedi and listen to what they say - please grow up..!

  • on July 21, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    we will truly miss you murali..........

  • Lion_of_Lanka on July 21, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    @Smithie : Because no one cares about Bishan Bedi and his dumb comments. The cricketing WORLD would remember Sehwag in another 20 years time but NOT Bedi. Bedi is not even the best spinner India has ever produced (Kumble is) but he tends to insult the BEST spinner in the WORLD. That's like a school boy cricketer insulting Tendulkar's batting. Appreciated the guard of honour Indians gave Murali when he came to bat and I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow. Come On Murali 2 more!!

  • vivek464 on July 21, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    An excellent bowler, and a good sportsman. Sehwag is also a very exciting bat. Cheers!! Vivek

  • Ponmuhil on July 21, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Thats pleasing to the ears! .. hearing a great batsman complimenting the spin legend. This is why cricket is still called the gentleman's game. And this is exactly why Sehwag and Murali, along with Sachin and Dravid remain as my all-time favourite heroes .. respecting the opponents for what they are .. professionalism and complete dedication to the game. the aussies need to learn something from these men. Anyways, I hope Murali takes 800 wickets tomorrow (eventhough it is against my home team!).

  • on July 21, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    The legend,the master,the spider of cricket

  • chaithan on July 21, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    I am Indian and a big fan of both Sehwag and Murali. While watching the test, I was torn between supporting India and hoping Sehwag scored big and praying that Murali got 800. These two are both great sportsmen. And the guard of honour given to Murali by the Indians was really sporting. Hope I see more gestures like it.

  • on July 21, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    Sehwag is a good batsmen fullstop. But does anyone remember when stephen Fleming scored 274 against sri lanka in Sri Lanka? That was a great knock and i reckon Flem played him really well.

  • CricFan24 on July 21, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    @kamarijones: Actually Lara had that one good series vs. murali. and then another match later. In other matches mostly in the '90s Lara was pretty poor vs. murali. Anyway, the best way to play murali seems to be not to plan vs. him. But simply switch to LEFTIE!! Practically all the good lefties - Lara, Fleming,Flower, Gambhir etc etc have played Murali much better than the righties.

  • on July 21, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    is cricinfo biased they never post my comments! Lara played Murali best that 2001 SL/WI series was epic. As for Murali......great bowler and sportsman. Viru.....very good batsman and it was good to hear him shower well-deserved praises on Murali but he's still cocky.

  • on July 21, 2010, 0:29 GMT

    According to statsguru, Virender manages a paltry 55ish against all-comers in the test arena. Somehow this is inflated to 75ish when Murali is playing. I don't mean to dis Murali, clearly the man is a wicket masher of note, perhaps I might suggest Virender continue to avoid planning though - it seems to work.

  • fataquie on July 20, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    I appreciate the Spirit of Cricket by Sehwag. With all due respect, he is just being humble. He can dislodge any bowler, when in form, reading or not reading the ball. For what its worth, if I had to put my money between Sehwag and Afridi, I would put it all on Sehwag and I am/was a Pakistani Cricket fan.

  • on July 20, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    Seriously I realise that many readers from the subcontinent say ganguly, dravid, inzamam, sehwag were the best against murali. Does anyone remember that epic WI/SL series in 2001 where lara took murali apart when murali was in his prime? Sehwag could never do that at that point in time. I'm a west indian but I'm sure many of you will agree with me.

  • vkbhawnani on July 20, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    lol..today Sehwag had hit a SIX and a four of Murali's bowling in the same over..:D Good riddance Murali..

  • on July 20, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    Why would Murali require help of sledging?? The faces he makes while bowling, that itself scares batsman !!!

  • on July 20, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    A true champion..a genius...a legend..my heartiest congragulations..............

  • on July 20, 2010, 17:34 GMT

    viru is a tru man... and great batsman... great bats mans talk from there harts...because they play for the team... not induvidual scores... well done viru..

  • since7 on July 20, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    I cant think of any cricketer who would give such a bold narration of his encounter with a bowler.ITs very introspective and as usual straight from his heart.It always puzzled me as to why sehwag thought murali troubled him when he played him with ease.But this is a relevation.Most important was sehwag's notes abt the speed of the ball..Saying that his double hundreds against murali came when murlai wasnt at his best were signature sehwag comments.If scoring run a ball is how he treats his nemesis bowler the most,then imagine the plight of other spinners!!.And for those who make naive comments that sehwag has no brains,this one's for you!!.Its not without brains you score nearly 3 triple tons!!..

  • SupernDutta on July 20, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    Sehwag WELL DONE for being so generous for the bowling Wizzard--The LEGEND. Murali has always been smiling and never saw him over reacting at any moment in his entire carrer and thats a GIFT that almost every LEGEND in cricket history has" CALM", "SMILING" and offcourse DEADLY in his Skills. We all will miss you-MASTER of SPIN.

  • Bharat_123 on July 20, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    Well very nice to see Viru saying such wonderful things of such an inspirational player like Murili is. Things such as 'that 200+ I scored against SL in Mumbai was not one of my best as Murili was not at his best'. I am an Indian fan but really love Murili and now Sehwag for such sweet comments. Being ranked no.1 batsman in the world can sometimes be too much for the batsman. Some batsman can get a bit big headed but Viru is doing exceptionally well in every format of the game and is a great asset to the Indian team. I hope he carries on like this as he will be remembered as a great destructive batsman as-well as being a very humble man.

  • Yorker_ToeCrusher on July 20, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    I still remember Srilanka's 1993 tour of India in which Sidhu had clearly dominated Murali.Since then Murali had come a long way..All the best Murali,hope to see you again at IPL. (Cricinfo should seriously consider filtering 'dump' people like cricexpert8).

  • on July 20, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    @cricxpert89...ha....ha....ha...you are so funnyyyyyyyyyyy...thanks

    Kudos to Murali...a cricketer who made us believe that cricket is still a gentelmen's game...in spite of his incredible record...hope we see more Muralis, Sachins, Sehwags, Mahelas, Rahuls, Gillys, Lees........who play cricket with 'spirit of the cricket' and still are the best....

  • on July 20, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    793 wickets & I dont remember a single instance of sledging from this gentleman. A sureshot lesson for other cricketers & certainly those footballers :))

  • on July 20, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    When on earth, Mr Sehwag started planning? Mr Najafgadh sachin: you have ruined bowlers carrer (remember waqar, aquib javed, rawalpindi express). You never plan on bowler, you ruin their career.

    But a loss to cricket as Murali is joining Warne and Kumble. but I am sure the money will lure him to play in IPL and we get to see him in action.

  • cricxpert89 on July 20, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    I think murlli should also give special haul to afridi. never forget about his 37 ball hundred and a recent quick one from him against murli. although he is a great bowler ,batsman like sehwag accepts how difficult is to face him but i think he also should accept the greatness of some players who can destroy that bowling which other ones find too hard to tackle.batsman like lara,ponting,inzi,chandrpaul,two y's,steve waugh,tendulkar,saeed anwar,kallis and sehwag were also murli's tough competitors

  • on July 20, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    Great Batsman praises, Great Bowler..

  • Howazzatt on July 20, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    Murali is all time great off break spinner with NODOUBT. I still remember the offbreak he bowled to Sadogopan Ramesh in 2000 series that thrashed on to the off stump...unbelievable. it turned square. I remember Gavaskar was commenting on it as wicket ball of the century. Hope it gets registered as said so. Murali is one true champion for Srilanka. He fought his good fight of offspin. WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVENT OF CRICKET ..ENTER INTO RETIREMENT.

  • Vilander on July 20, 2010, 14:42 GMT

    thats right fella, no shame in admitting to a genius like Murali..hmm he got Sachin again..Murali is really the worst case scenario for opponents...now i have to pray that Yuvi plays out Murali for atleast two sessions..180 runs...yeah Yuvi to have to play out Murali in SL thats the point..about worst case scenario.

  • ian_ghose on July 20, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    Modesty galore from Sehwag!!! It's amazing to hear Sehwag state that the double hundred he scored against Sri Lanka at Bombay was mainly because Muralidaran was far below his best, the same innings that Ian Chappell over-enthusiatically rated as the best innings he didn't see live. It's really big of Sehwag to admit that. I hope it's not a back-handed compliment to Murali, like Tendulkar once did to Warne calling him one of the most difficult bowlers he faced (one who he had clearly dominated, while totally ignoring to mention McGrath who had a vice-like grip on him). I always thought of Sehwag as a bit of a hit-or-miss batsman, but as an individual he has all of a sudden stood tall in my book. He is perhaps the best right-handed batsman against Murali since Inzamam. On a slightly twisted note, Bishen Singh Bedi has said that 'Muralidaran has left a legacy of chucking'. Does that make Bedi a racist?

    -IG

  • TRUE_PAKISTANI_HITLAR on July 20, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Nice and fitting tributes from Sehwag. Murali the world's greatest bowler and Sehwag the world's most aggressive batsman would be a treat to watch on 4th day. I missed the game on 3rd day for being in the court for speeding 65 at 40 PH limit. Still I think speed is the game.

    Murali is not what he used to be but I still think he would be able to take at least 4 wickets specially if he is used for only 4 overs at a time after giving him hour breaks. I truly think Sehwag is capable to make another 300 to prove that he was a true incarnation of Bradman.

  • on July 20, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    Will really miss the smiling assassin..

  • nk_sharma on July 20, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    If cricinfo really filter the viewer's comments, they should not have posted the comment of cricxpert89:"Indian dumb players cant find any way against a quick and talented Legend spinner.nor feel comfortable at all as inzimam, ponting, lara felt always comfortable against him because of their class". Class of cricket can not be imagined without Indian batsman like Gavaskar, Vishwanath, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Azhar...

  • on July 20, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Great thoughts from great batsmen

  • SnowSnake on July 20, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    Murli had been a great bowler. Thank you Shewag for the kind words-- coming from the no. 1 ranked batsman in the test cricket today-- it means a lot.

  • on July 20, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    Its really great to see a comment like this from one of the brilliant bats man India would have ever developed...Thanx Viru for humble opinion...very much appreciated..Murali is a class act ..we all know abt it..basically I am Indian fan...but I like murali a lot...but not against India though..lol

    I wished if Sachin gets out today, it should be to Murali not to any one else..Murali has done it...that will make murali very satisfied...

    I want to see Sachis comments too...

  • maddy4cricket on July 20, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    @cricexpert89.... Inzamam is a class player as far as Pakistan standards are concerned.Not world standards.

  • on July 20, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    It's great to hear from viru....Murali is a class act..the world knows that... But a comment from a batsman like VIRU or Sachin will give MURALI a great satisfaction...I wished, if any one to get Sachin's wicket, it should be Murali and not any one else... He did it today...it will give him a great satisfaction on his last test.....

  • knowledge_eater on July 20, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    Its a TRAP, do not believe in what he says. He is going to attack you. He is the most improved batsman after few blunders in his early career, I have ever seen. He created his own legacy. He is the current Master Blaster. He is just being too generous with the words. Don't get carried away. He will smash you, smash you really bad. Especially in Test, where he has more time to work on his game, he is going to take full advantage and make you bleed. It's a TRAP. Beware. I just wish for his fitness, and wish him, he plays till he is at least 40. Just follow his saying on his twitter, your life will be better. And yes hats off to Murali, sorry Sehwag will try his best to smash you, I know its your farewell and all, but hey its Virender Sehwag.

  • on July 20, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    Great Opinions from one of Senior & Intelligent cricketer..... Cheers to our Hero...."Common Murali"

  • goumeer on July 20, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    It's really correct from sehwag. we see today match.

  • Reuben_is_Mr_Awesome on July 20, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    Both are legends of the game .... Muruli, we will miss you tons....esp the laughter and humour you bring to the game both on and off the pitch :)

  • on July 20, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    I once saw Sehwag reverse paddle sweep a full length ball from Murali. It was an utterly unbelievable shot from him on his way to another dominating century (or was that the double, not sure). Its a great tribute to Murali if an attacking batsman like Sehwag thinks he is never settled against him. Murali will be sorely missed!

  • Apolloniac on July 20, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Great tribute Viru. As Srinivasan states, may your tribe of humble greats increase! I hope that when its time for you to put your bat down for good, you have the honor of another cricketing great saying of you - there goes a class act both on and off the field. By your tribute to Murali, if nothing else, you have earned the undeniable right to that.

  • on July 20, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    A lion showing respect to another lion...On field veeru hadlry showed any respect for bowlers...but murali was an exception!!!.. All cricket lovers will miss ur presence...

  • gudolerhum on July 20, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    @ Smithie - I have the greatest respect for Bishan Bedi as a bowler but what on earth makes you believe that his opinion on Murali's action is so important that ICC should take further action? Is Bedi just jealous of what Murali has achieved. His belief that it is "not possible to bowl a doosra legally" is totally unscientific and wiithout any real basis. Please respect Murali and what he has achieved and contributed to the game. Sehwag has paid him a great tribute, leave it there.

  • on July 20, 2010, 11:39 GMT

    sehwag planning... I have never heard the two words in the same sentence before

  • on July 20, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    Murali and Viru are outstanding ambassadors for the sport!Aside of thier staggering performances, heroics and competitive spirit, they share a great admiration for the game, fellow players, and opponents. May their tribe increase :)

  • GregWG on July 20, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Wonderful to see this degree of humility from so fine a batsman. Murali, you've been one of the greats, it's been a pleasure to follow your career; one of the most bewildering bowlers there has ever been and proof positive that the game can be played with a smile on the face.

  • CSKA on July 20, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Murali has troubled viru lot of time. therefore has taken the ariel route to plan not to antispate.

  • reeksrok on July 20, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    I would really love to hear what sachin says about murali. Murali has got him numerous times but most of them owing to his wrong judgement rather than murali's class. Against the others i felt murali was awesome. A video of murali against westindies in srilanka is the best highlight of his career

  • ganeshram78 on July 20, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    by saying that he could never plan against murali, does he mean that he plans against other bowlers??? i cant believe that

  • cricxpert89 on July 20, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Yeah!! Quite right. Indian dumb players cant find any way against a quick and talented Legend spinner.nor feel comfortable at all as inzimam, ponting, lara felt always comfortable against him because of their class

  • Surrendar on July 20, 2010, 9:19 GMT

    Sehwag rocks!.... indian caption should read this article.

    Very open and honesty comments straight from the heart.as always.

  • on July 20, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    Good Comments by a honest & bold cricketer in India

  • Murtaza90 on July 20, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    lovely article great trbute to a great player

  • cskfangg on July 20, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    What makes viru to said like this?..Murali's bowling?.. The reality is more than a cricketer,murali is superb human being in this world.. That is reason,why all the players love murali..he never get angry or indiscipline in the field..always has a smile on his face... I remember in Aussie incident,eventhough he is pinned,he shows respect to them.. A great bowler of all time!...

  • Smithie on July 20, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    Fascinating how Cricinfo staff have chosen to not report from the Times of India yesterday that past Indian Captain Bedi continues to question Murali's action and says that it is not possible to bowl a Doorsra legally. He calls on ICC to take action. Why has Cricinfo missed this or turned a blind eye to it?

  • asefali on July 20, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    Since I am a big fan of Pakistan, I never liked Sehwag as he scored very heavily against Pak :(.... But after reading this article I really have respect for him and started to like him :)

  • on July 20, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Amazing, especially since Sehwag is a straight-forward person... He wud jst tell u on ur face that ur bad or he wud praise, he is always honest... so this tell us that he did rlly find trouble in readind murliu after bein on a 100...

  • Pathiyal on July 20, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Even the fiercest of enenmies has the greatest of opinions about him. Thats the sign of a legend. The cricket world will definitely miss this colourful and super human cricketer.

  • on July 20, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    Thats the greatnesss of the Man named Virender Sehwag he speaks out of his heart never minces his words .... whatever he feels he utters and in this article also he has done so ......

  • on July 20, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    Sehwag rocks! Its awesome to see the friendly relations between the current Indian and SL teams. I think IPL contributed a long way in understanding players from opponent nations.

  • shaantanu on July 20, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    a great ambassador of the game......such a great achiever but still so humble.thats what separates the champions from the would be......n nice words viru.straight from the heart.as always.

  • Charindra on July 20, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    Wow, I never expected such a thing from Sehwag. He sometimes comes off very arrogant, but after reading this article i love the guy! So I apologize for my stupid misconception. And to finish off, let me say that Sehwag is one of the guys I really worry about, when SL plays India, because he doesn't care about reputations and can take the game away from the opposition in half an hour.

  • Indresh47 on July 20, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    Very open and honest tribute towards Murali. Nice to hear from Sehwag

  • on July 20, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    Does Sehwag ever plan a game for any opposition ?? The way he plays is just "If its there to be hit, I will hit"....

  • on July 20, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    Well said Veru. I am inpressed. Sometimes you are very arrogant but this comment came from your heart. As a fan of cricket and you put a good example and I hope you will keep conyinue doing that...

  • Test_Match_Fan on July 20, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Class act Virender Sehwag!

  • amit1807kuwait on July 20, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    Words coming out right from the heart. Typical Sehwag. The world is richer because of guys like him. Hats off!

  • Siddhartha_90 on July 20, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    Aww this is so sweet :) ...where's the like button?!

  • JogeshPanda on July 20, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    This is one of the best tribute Murali can get on his retirement from Test cricket, and viru as always straight from heart never think twice to speak his heart.... really heart warming to read this honest article.....

  • on July 20, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    nice article. thanks for the those beautiful comments of your. all the best but not with sri lanka. :p

  • Vivek.Bhandari on July 20, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    nice to see Viru's view...especially when he's such a blunt guy..who always speaks his mind..to opine that it's difficult for him to pick Murali...golden words by Sehwag even if these are for Murali...

  • on July 20, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    The modern Viv Richards aka virus testimony about Muralis skills. One legend praising the an all times best off spinner the world cricket has seen. Murali all the best for future and hope you will be there renovate the dying skill back into the crikcet after your retirement.

  • KaZsa on July 20, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Honest words coming from one of the most devastating batsmen of our time.He is a player who is heavily relied on in a batting line up such as India.To say that even after getting a 100, it is difficult to pick him is a tribute to the greatness the little man posses.

  • ELCAPITANO on July 20, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan fan and always loved to watch Viru.. (not very much against SL though :) ) Thanks Viru for your lovely comments about the little genius and it's great to see your humble opinion. Murali is an icon.. We will never get to see a player of his calibre for a long time... I wish all the crickets are like that when it comes to on field and off the field qualities.. We just heard about Graemme Swann's incident today.. (DUI) Hope thats not so serious.. Come on players.. You need to be role models...

  • US_Indian on July 20, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    Congrats Sehwag, this was a real honest, from the bottom of your heart admiration for the real gem the world of cricket would have ever seen that includes our own Indian players. It was just like your strokes clean and straight from your heart no mincing of words. Iam an Indian i fully agree with you no second opinion about whatever you and the rest of the world has to say except those prejudiced Aussies excluding Shane Warne and our Mr.Bedi because his wife is an aussie, he has to speak the aussie language. Keep doing whatever you are doing with your bat scoring tons of runs for India and please take a bunch of fast bowlers and ask them to bowl at you and train and groom them please.

  • Zookinii on July 20, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    This was a beautiful story. Very heart warming. Thank you!

  • on July 20, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    Well said Viru , but don't expect any loose deliveries from Murli because of this article. He will still try to get you out. With your current form I am not sure if you will be long enough in the pitch to face Murali.

    Good luck.

  • budugu2 on July 20, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    Nice post man! Both are my Favorite Cricketers. It is hard to accept the fact that we wont see Murali playing Tests anymore :(

  • on July 20, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    Like viru, lots fan's were missing murli on the field in test. and really great to see those picture, don't how to explain it how those picture feel. i proud to bee a fan of murali.

  • on July 20, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    sehweg thats a brother. pats on the back.

  • on July 20, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    what a human creature you murli you are the champion, you are the king of spin, you are the master of cricket we wont forget you Murli .............................

  • torsha on July 20, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    It is always great to see that Indian players respect other teams inspite there are so many criticism. That's the best part about India. I remember during this IPL, when Murali was interviewed, he was asked to tell about "Mongoose" bat and he replied that he can't even bat with regular bat, then how he can bat with Mongoose? He has great sense of humor and honesty. That's the best part about him.

  • on July 20, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    he sure is a master class bowler. n i think only dravid,ganguly n inzimam were only batsmen i ever c comfortable against muralitharan. good bye murali wish u the best wishes in life.

  • on July 20, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Well said. Great Champion with humility. Sad to see him retire. No one blinks an eye when he bowls.

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  • on July 20, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Well said. Great Champion with humility. Sad to see him retire. No one blinks an eye when he bowls.

  • on July 20, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    he sure is a master class bowler. n i think only dravid,ganguly n inzimam were only batsmen i ever c comfortable against muralitharan. good bye murali wish u the best wishes in life.

  • torsha on July 20, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    It is always great to see that Indian players respect other teams inspite there are so many criticism. That's the best part about India. I remember during this IPL, when Murali was interviewed, he was asked to tell about "Mongoose" bat and he replied that he can't even bat with regular bat, then how he can bat with Mongoose? He has great sense of humor and honesty. That's the best part about him.

  • on July 20, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    what a human creature you murli you are the champion, you are the king of spin, you are the master of cricket we wont forget you Murli .............................

  • on July 20, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    sehweg thats a brother. pats on the back.

  • on July 20, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    Like viru, lots fan's were missing murli on the field in test. and really great to see those picture, don't how to explain it how those picture feel. i proud to bee a fan of murali.

  • budugu2 on July 20, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    Nice post man! Both are my Favorite Cricketers. It is hard to accept the fact that we wont see Murali playing Tests anymore :(

  • on July 20, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    Well said Viru , but don't expect any loose deliveries from Murli because of this article. He will still try to get you out. With your current form I am not sure if you will be long enough in the pitch to face Murali.

    Good luck.

  • Zookinii on July 20, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    This was a beautiful story. Very heart warming. Thank you!

  • US_Indian on July 20, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    Congrats Sehwag, this was a real honest, from the bottom of your heart admiration for the real gem the world of cricket would have ever seen that includes our own Indian players. It was just like your strokes clean and straight from your heart no mincing of words. Iam an Indian i fully agree with you no second opinion about whatever you and the rest of the world has to say except those prejudiced Aussies excluding Shane Warne and our Mr.Bedi because his wife is an aussie, he has to speak the aussie language. Keep doing whatever you are doing with your bat scoring tons of runs for India and please take a bunch of fast bowlers and ask them to bowl at you and train and groom them please.