Former Indian opening batsman Virender Sehwag is renowned for his maverick personality on and off the cricket field. The batsman is responsible for instilling an attacking mindset in the Indian batters. Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq lauded Sehwag for introducing India to a different brand of cricket.
Mushtaq believes that Sehwag was one of the first Indian batsmen who had a long and successful career in the International circuit despite having an aggressive and fiery batting style. Speaking on his YouTube channel, the Pakistan spinner reckoned that the former Indian opener deserves all the credit for changing Indian cricket’s mindset and that of its cricketers.
Further in the YouTube video, Mushtaq also touched upon the debate regarding who is better between Sehwag and Rohit Sharma. During his playing days, Sehwag formed a backbone of India’s batting line-up across all the three formats.
The veteran featured in as many as 104 Tests, 251 ODIs, and 19 T20Is in his international career. The thing that stood out was his extraordinary strike rate. Sehwag had a strike rate of 82.23 in Tests, 104.33 in ODIs and over 145 in T20Is.
Current Indian batsman Rohit, on the other hand, has raised the bar when it comes to attacking brand of cricket. Just like Sehwag, Rohit also plays fearlessly and takes the bowlers on remand from the very first ball. However, Mushtaq believes that it is Sehwag who deserves more acknowledgement as he showed the way.
“Sehwag lifted the bar and showed the way with his self-belief. Sehwag scored a double century in ODIs so players believed it could happen, like Rohit Sharma. In fact, Rohit must have learnt a lot watching Sehwag bat," Saqlain said.
“Rohit’s stats may look prettier than Sehwag but Viru had a role behind it. He played for himself, the country and changed the thinking of the players that came after him. Before him, only 1-2 players like Sir Viv who used to play that brand of cricket in ODIs and ruled over the world, and Zaheer Abbas. They ruled the world and similarly, Sehwag also dominated world cricket," he added.