There is bad news for Virender Sehwag fans. The dashing batsman could retire after reaching the milestone of 100 Tests. "I want to play 100 Tests and then retire," he said. Given that he has already played 76, the milestone doesn't appear too far away.
But before he calls it quits, Sehwag wants to fulfil an ambition he has been nurturing for long — to bat in the middle order. For someone with a record as spectacular as his at the top of the order, wanting to swap his position might sound crazy. But it's logical for Sehwag. “It's not easy to get back to open the innings in ten minutes after spending one-and-a-half-days in the field. I would like to go in like (MS) Dhoni at number six. Who knows I would have scored more in the middle order,” said Sehwag during the Cricinfo awards, where he was given the best batting performance of the year award for the 293-run knock against Sri Lanka.
Sehwag didn't shy away from spelling out the position he wanted in the middle order. “I want to bat at number four,” he said with a chuckle. “I know it's not available right now, but I am ready to wait until Sachin (Tendulkar) calls it a day.”
Sehwag also shed light on his approach towards batting that appears fraught with risks. “I play the way I do because for me the pleasure of scoring runs is far bigger than scoring centuries. That's why I don't slow down even when I am close to hundred or bigger milestones,” he said.
He didn't agree that his batting was fraught with risks. “I think ‘risk’ is pretty subjective. Maybe defending the ball is more risky for me than whacking it away as my technique is not that good.
“There's risk in every ball you face and every shot you hit. You don't know which ball will get you, so it's better to score as many runs as possible before you get that delivery,” he said.
All he does ahead of going out to play is some deep breathing. “I don't even see the wicket before going out to play. I think if I see the wicket, it might change my thought process and I might try and play according to the wicket. It doesn't work for me that way,” he said.
On his approach to an innings, Sehwag said he identified the weaker bowlers and went after them. “Once the bowler I think can get me out are out of the way, I try to get maximum runs from the weaker bowlers,” was the matter-of-fact explanation.