Virender Sehwag Reveals The Player Who Suggested His Name For Opener’s Role

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Virender Sehwag was one of the most destructive openers of all time. The Nawab of Najafgarh used to induce fear in opposition bowlers like only few could. His aggressive batting from the onset of the innings is still revered by fans.

However, Sehwag was a middle-order batsman at the start of his career. On his India debut, in April 1999 vs Pakistan in an ODI, Sehwag came in to bat at number 7 and managed only 1 run as he was dismissed lbw by Shoaib Akhtar.

Now, in a chat with Akhtar himself, Sehwag has revealed whose idea it was to open with him.

Broadcaster Star Sports uploaded a clip of their show “Frenemies”, in which Sehwag and Akhtar are having a hearty, fun chat.

Virender Sehwag
Image Source – NDTV Sports

Zaheer Khan had suggested Ganguly to promote Sehwag in the opening position

During the chat, Akhtar expressed great surprise that Sehwag batted at number 7 on his debut and was a middle-order batsman initially in his career. Akhtar, intriguingly, asked Sehwag as to whose advice was it for him to be promoted to open.

Two years after he had made his debut and batted in the middle-order, Sehwag revealed, that it was his teammate pacer Zaheer Khan who had suggested the then skipper Sourav Ganguly promote Sehwag to open. And the rest is history.

“It was Zaheer Khan’s idea. He was the one who suggested my name to Sourav Ganguly and he asked me to open the batting. Before this I used to bat in the middle order and when I faced you for the first time in 1999, I was a middle-order batter,” Sehwag said.

Akhtar jokingly blamed Zaheer Khan for the thrashing Sehwag had given to Pakistan – in particular during his triple century in Multan – after he became an opener.

You can watch the video here:

Virender Sehwag opened the innings in 332 of the 374 international matches he played. At the top of the order, the right-hander amassed 16119 at an average of 41; 36 of his 38 international centuries came as an opener.

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