We all know that Virender Sehwag is one of the most destructive openers in the history of cricket. Many cricket pundits and fans believe that with his aggressive mindset and fearless stroke-making, Virender Sehwag changed the whole mindset behind opening batting in Test cricket.
Before Virender Sehwag started dominating Test cricket with his batting, opening the batting in Test cricket was mostly about leaving the ball and being cautious at the start, but Sehwag changed everything. It was only after his success, teams started promoting attacking batsmen to the top of the order in Test cricket. For example, Brendon McCullum, Tilakaratne Dilshan, and a few others.
However, former Pakistani captain Wasim Akram believes that it was Shahid Afridi who changed the mindset of opening in Test cricket, not Virender Sehwag.
“In Test cricket, Virender Sehwag came later but in 1999-2000 Shahid Afridi changed the mindset of opening in Test cricket. Even if I was the bowler I would know that I can get him out but also know that he can hit me for boundaries. He used to hit lose deliveries for sixes at will,” Wasim Akram said.
“I called Imran Khan before the tour selection. I told him ‘skipper I want to take Shahid Afridi on tour but a few selectors were against it. He told me ‘You should definitely take him, he will win a 1-2 Test matches and make him open the batting.’ I generally discussed a lot with Imran, sometimes before the tour, sometimes during the tour and his suggestions always came in handy,” Akram added.