Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly showered praise on Virender Sehwag, who was recently inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame alongside Diana Edulji and Aravinda de Silva. In his decorated career, Sehwag played 104 Tests, accumulating 8,586 runs at an impressive average of 49.34, including 23 centuries, notably two triple centuries.
For India in ODIs, Sehwag amassed 8,273 runs, with his monumental 219 against the West Indies in Indore during 2011 ranking as the third-highest individual score in men’s 50-over cricket. Ganguly’s admiration for Sehwag was captured in an open letter written by him to Sehwag, shared by the ICC, where he lauded his former teammate for revolutionising Test cricket batting dynamics.
The former Indian captain emphasised that the ICC made a fitting choice by inducting Sehwag into the Hall of Fame, considering him a cricketing maestro and “arguably the best opening batsman” following Sunil Gavaskar.
“The ICC has absolutely chosen the right person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. To me, and millions of others, you are a cricketing great,” said Ganguly in his letter.
‘You Changed The Dynamics Of Batting’: Ganguly To Sehwag
“What made you such a special player is the way you batted. You changed the dynamics of batting at the top in Test cricket. Your talent was special. You scored runs at such a fast pace, you were just exceptionally good, and you are probably the best opening batsman after Sunil Gavaskar,” he said.
“We’ve known each other for such a long time. I remember there was a lot of talk when you first played first-class cricket around how good you were, how hard you hit the ball and how you cleared the boundary ropes. That is how I first heard of you. The India selectors kept updating us that you were very good, and you came into the international set-up early on,” the ex-India skipper expressed.
Highlighting Sehwag’s prowess in Test cricket, Ganguly cited his monumental 293 against Sri Lanka in 2009, facing a formidable bowling attack led by Muttiah Muralitharan, as a testament to his exceptional abilities.
“An innings that proves that is your 293 against Sri Lanka in 2009. To score that many in a day of a Test against an attack including Muttiah Muralitharan just showed what you were capable of,” Ganguly stated further.
While acknowledging Sehwag’s proficiency in both formats, Ganguly credited him as a superior Test batsman. “You could do it in all conditions and your triple hundred in Multan remains one of my favourite innings. You hit a six to get to 200 and then did the same to get to 300 – and you had told us you were going to do it too!!”
The former BCCI President also reminisced about Sehwag’s transition to an opener after initially struggling in the middle order, praising his adaptability and talent. “We gave you that responsibility because although we couldn’t find a place for you in the middle order, we knew a player of your ability could not sit and warm the benches.
“I remember when I told you that you should try opening, you were unsure because you had never done it. I believe no-one is born to bat in any particular position and that you could do it because of the talent you possessed,” he said