Former batter Virender Sehwag can be regarded as one of the best openers Indian cricket team ever had. Making his debut in 1999 with an ODI against Pakistan in Mohali, Sehwag went on to score 8273 runs in 251 matches in the 50-over format. Known for his aggressive style of batting, the 44-year-old has got 38 international centuries to his name. However, not many people know that Sehwag almost made his ODI debut for India in 1998 during the Sharjah Cup.
Recently, the former batter revealed that during the 1998 Sharjah Cup, he had got a call from the selectors after many Indian players had fallen ill during the tour.
“In the year 1998 during the Sharjah Cup, around six Indian players fell sick. I got a call to take a flight to Sharjah the next day. I got the ticket, packed my bags and went to the airport. As soon as I entered the airport, Ajay Duggal from Trade Wings called and told me not to board the flight as the players have recovered. I was like, ‘A kid was about to make his debut, damn!” revealed Sehwag on Breakfast with Champions.
Sehwag further spoke about he admired a young Sachin Tendulkar playing from India during the 1992 World Cup in Australia. He also revealed that his brothers used to mock him when he would try to imitate Sachin’s style of batting.
“I had no idea I would play cricket when I started watching him. I started watching cricket from the 1992 World Cup. It would go live at 5 AM. Even my brothers were fond of playing and watching cricket. We’d go to the neighbour’s house, as we didn’t have a cable connection,” said Sehwag.
“My neighbour told me about this boy, Sachin Tendulkar. He was quite young, around 19 years old. A 19-year-old boy was playing the World Cup. I was like, “Wow”. He would bat, and I would watch on TV and copy his shots. My brothers would mock me saying, ‘Sit down. You won’t become Tendulkar’,” he added.
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