Virender Sehwag is delighted to join the 100-Test club in Indian cricket, but don’t expect him to hold back his bat even in his landmark Test.
Tomorrow’s Test against England at the Wankhede will bring back happy memories for the Delhi Dasher, who clubbed a 293 in this city against Sri Lanka in 2009 at the Brabourne Stadium.
Excerpts from an interview:
How excited are you to play your 100th Test?
It is the best moment of my life because if you go through the history of Indian cricket, you will find only nine cricketers have played a 100 or more Tests in 80 years of Indian Test cricket. It’s definitely a great moment for me.
Any special plans to celebrate it?
As of now, it is just another Test match. I will prepare the same way I prepare for any Test. I will get up early as usual, get ready, pack my bags, get to the team bus and then to the ground. Then, I will prepare accordingly after the toss.
How will you eventually celebrate the moment?
I don’t know. My wife may reach here on the first morning of the Test and we will see what happens. There is a series on at the moment, an important one and a tough one. England are a good team. As of now, nothing has been planned for my landmark Test.
Can you believe you are on the verge of playing 100 Tests?
I never believed that I would play that many when I made my debut against South Africa in Bloemfontein. I am honoured and elated and that is why Friday is going to be my most memorable day.
Wouldn’t you want to score a hundred in your 100th Test?
Who will not want to do that? But, all batsmen try to score a hundred in every Test he figures in.
Which would you rate as your most satisfying innings?
The 151 in the fourth Test of the 2007-08 tour of Australia in Adelaide. I never batted so slowly to save a Test match. I had to curb my instincts and stay at the wicket to make sure that India does not lose.
And your best innings?
The triple century against South Africa in Chennai. I was dropped before that and came back strongly. I cherish that innings.
You once said that you don’t care about any bowler and surface…
Yes and I will say the same thing now. If there is a ball to be hit, be it from any bowler, I will hit it even if it is the first ball of a Test. That’s my natural game.
Have you received any message from your coach AN Sharma?
‘May God bless you and best of luck.’ He doesn’t talk much but what more could he say?