‘Viru was absolutely outstanding’: Former India opener recalls batting alongside Virender Sehwag
“The Indian batting order was so packed that there was only one slot open while batting alongside Virender Sehwag, and I took it up,” Aakash Chopra told Sportskeeda.Updated: Jul 07, 2020 09:58 IST
Virender Sehwag is regarded as one of the best India had produced. Sehwag had the ability to hit big shots at will, and he always looked to counter-attack the bowlers right from the get go. In the ODIs, Sehwag opened alongside the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, and both the pairs went on to find success. In Test cricket, Sehwag opened alongside the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Wasim Jaffer, and Aakash Chopra. In a recent interview, Chopra, who played 10 Tests opened up on batting alongside Sehwag.
“The Indian batting order was so packed that there was only one slot open while batting alongside Virender Sehwag, and I took it up,” Aakash Chopra told Sportskeeda.
“Viru was making my job a lot easier because he was hitting good balls for fours. When someone does that, then opposition keeps focusing on them,” the 42-year-old added.
Chopra further revealed that Sehwag was always keen on running singles and doubles. “We ran really well between the stumps. Since he was hitting a lot of fours and sixes, it would have been natural if he (Sehwag) didn’t want to run much, but he wanted to take singles as soon as it was available,” he said.
“Viru was absolutely outstanding; we go back a long way, we played school cricket together. I just wanted to enjoy from the best seat in the house but just leave it at that because there is only one Virender Sehwag,” the cricketer-turned-commentator added.
Speaking on his own career, Chopra said that his career could have been different had he made most of the opportunities that he was given. “I didn’t make the most of 10 opportunities that I got in Test matches. Out of the 10 Tests, I played six against Australia – THE best team of the time. I played 2 against Pakistan in Pakistan and only 2 in India against New Zealand.
“If there was a slightly easier start, things may have looked different,” Aakash Chopra said. “I was lucky to part of 2 historic tours…against Australia 2003 (where we drew the series), the Pakistan series – we won the series.
“In the end, if I had scored more runs, converted those 30-40s into 100, things might have been different, and I could have lasted a little longer,” he added.