Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq believes that ex-Indian opener Virender Sehwag revived the art of aggressive batting for the Indian cricketers.
Mushtaq believed that Sehwag set the bar high in white-ball cricket and made the unachievable seem achievable with his sheer self-belief. “Sehwag scored a double century in ODIs so players believed it could happen, like Rohit Sharma. In fact, Rohit must have learnt a lot watching Sehwag bat,” the former Pakistan international remarked.
Mushtaq believes that Rohit Sharma is a better batsman than Sehwag on the paper, but that is primarily due to the role assigned to Sehwag by the team management. He averaged 35 in ODIs and nearly 50 in Tests and that, Mushtaq feels, is because he played for “himself, the country and changed the thinking of the players that came after him”.
Mushtaq believes that no cricketer adapted an agressive approach while batting after the Zaheer Abbas and Sir Vivian Richard’s era until Sehwag decided to do so. “They ruled the world and similarly, Sehwag also dominated world cricket,” he added.
Now retired, Sehwag now take up commentary and analysis gigs at Indian sports channels. Apart from this, he is often seen taking swipes at other cricketing countries on social media.