‘Didn’t get the freedom Sehwag got, had I got the backing…’, Star Indian Opener Blames BCCI For His Fading Career

Over the years, Team India has been blessed with some of the best batters across all formats, but none compare to Virender Sehwag. Sehwag transformed cricket strategy, particularly in India. He didn’t care who the bowler was, whatever side he was playing against, or the format, all he cared about was going on the bowlers straight away. He was one of the major reasons why players like Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum came and played freely without mapping the situation of the scoreboard or opponents.

While India had Sehwag on the opposing side, there were also players like Murali Vijay who were very reliable and similarly effective and, despite having different playing styles, both succeeded for the Indian team. However, they temporarily opened for India together, and Sehwag and Vijay had entirely separate processes and playing styles. Vijay only played 61 matches for the national team in the longest format of cricket while Sehwag played 104 Test matches for India.

Since India’s 2018–19 tour of Australia, Vijay hasn’t played for his country. The 38-year-old has since made the shocking statement that Sehwag got more support and freedom to innovate than he did.

“Consciously, I didn’t get the freedom of Virender Sehwag to be honest. Whatever Sehwag got in his life, I didn’t. If I could have got that kind of backing and open-spreaded talks, I could have also tried. The honest thing is the team’s backing and how you can contribute to the team in international level. It’s a high-level competition and you don’t have many chances to experiment different ways, said Vijay while speaking to Speaking to the former India women’s team coach WV Raman.

Vijay also mentioned how entertaining it was to watch Sehwag bat from the other end because of the way Sehwag played, which allowed him to resist his natural aggression and stick with him.

He further added, “You’ve got to be consistent so you’ve got to have everything as a package and how you’re going to mould yourself to the team’s demand. When Sehwag was there, I felt controlling my instincts and playing was hard but to see him go through that kind of freedom was something spectacular.”

“Only he could have done that. Nobody else I feel could have played like Sehwag. What he did for Indian cricket was amazing. Different… he is something else which I have seen visually. I had the privilege to interact with him. It was so simple. He kept his mantra so simple – See the ball and hit. He was in that mode; singing songs to 145-150 kph bowlers. You are experiencing something else. It’s not normal”

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