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Siddarth Ravindran in Dambulla
August 22, 2010
Peter Ingram, the New Zealand batsman, has said learning from watching Virender Sehwag bat has helped transform his career. Ingram is sometimes criticised for a lack of footwork, but he said the reduced foot movement - a hallmark of Sehwag's batting - has helped trigger the run of form which has lifted him to the New Zealand team.
Sehwag and Ingram are both international openers, born just five days apart. While Sehwag has been among the most feared batsmen in the world for years Ingram is still taking his first tentative steps in international cricket, working full-time as a teacher as he is yet to win a central contract.
After several poor seasons on the domestic scene - he has been around since 2001-02 - he was in commanding form over the past three years. "I played for five years for Central Districts, and averaged 17, used to try and move my feet heaps and block too much," Ingram said. "And then I just kept watching Virender Sehwag, if he can not move his feet and score runs then so can I. Since then I have averaged about 65 and scored heaps and heaps of runs."
This is the first tournament he is playing involving Sehwag, and he is looking ahead to learning from the Indian batsman. "I have tried to have a chat with Sehwag. We are trying to organise one. I want to have a talk with him and see how he works and trains."
The stand-and-deliver method isn't something that Ingram recommends for everyone, though. "Not everyone is the same, obviously it suits me and suits him," he said. "I am not as good as he is, but one day hopefully I will be."
Sehwag has made a habit out of reaching his centuries with a six; most recently he nearly did it off the controversial Suraj Randiv no-ball last week, but it isn't something Ingram has attempted. "No, I haven't even thought about it." He does dream of a Sehwagian feat. "I want to play Test cricket and smash a hundred of 80 balls."