Virender Sehwag today paid rich tributes to Rahul Dravid, who has announced his retirement from international and domestic cricket, saying the Bangalore stalwart's performance would be sorely missed, as nobody could possibly match him.
"I don't think a player like Rahul Dravid can come into the Indian cricket team (again). Especially his performance in overseas matches can be hardly matched by any player," Sehwag told reporters at a promotional event here.
Sehwag, who had put on a mammoth stand of 410 for the first wicket with Dravid against Pakistan in the opening Test at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium in January 2006, said he was happy that the `Wall' had has quit the game on his own terms.
"I am happy he retired on his terms and conditions. He said his time was up when he wished to retire," said the Delhi batsman who has been rested for the Asia Cup in Dhaka.
Sehwag also said that the retired batsman held a special place in his heart. "It was an honour and privilege for me to play with him for 10 years. He is very humble and helpful. He is a team man. I share a good relation with him and he has a special place in my heart."
The 39-year-old Dravid ended his Test career with 13,288 runs -- behind only Tendulkar (15,470 in 188 Tests) -- from 164 matches, with 36 hundreds and 63 half centuries at an average of 52.31, the 270 against Pakistan being his highest score. He scored 10,889 runs in 344 ODIs with 12 hundreds. Sehwag, often criticised for his impetuous batting, also said he wanted to imbibe a few qualities of Dravid, such as his patience at the crease.
Asked if other senior players should consider calling it a day, Sehwag said, "We are nobody to ask anyone to retire. They would decide on their own and I would request the media not to ask them about this."
The Delhi opener, who scored an ODI world record of 219 against West Indies in December, was asked who he believed was likely to break his mark, and said the Australians Shane Watson and David Warner had the potential.
"It is difficult to say who will break it. There are many players like Shane Watson, David Warner. I don't know from India in coming times who would be able to break the record.
"It is difficult to predict but the records are meant to be broken. When Sachin Tendulkar scored 200 (against South Africa at Gwalior in February, 2010), nobody imagined that it could be broken. I hope in future players can score more than 219-220 runs," he added.