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.