Hard-hitter Virender Sehwag reflects on his struggle after returning to form against Chennai Super Kings
The relief was evident on Virender Sehwag's face after his brutal hundred helped Kings XI Punjab storm to their maiden Indian Premier League final on Friday.
Virender Sehwag en route his 58-ball 122 at the Wankhede on Friday. Pic/Suresh KK
It was a clear signal that Sehwag is finally out of his slump and is all set to be once again in the reckoning for a national call-up. It was vintage Viru during his 58-ball 122 knock that helped Punjab post a mammoth 226 against Chennai Super Kings. MS Dhoni's men were then restricted to 202 in 20 overs as Punjab won the Qualifier Two by 24 runs at the Wankhede Stadium.
Sehwag in his usual candid self let his heart take over his mind during the post-match media interaction. "The performance came after a long time. When I was out of the team, everybody was hoping I would score hundred and double hundred in first-class cricket but that didn't happen.
'Chennai had to pay'
"I tried everything that I could, but when your time is not good, you can't do anything. I was doing everything right but I was not able to score runs. Today was maybe my day and I just told myself Chennai should pay for my day," Sehwag, who is now the tournament's sixth highest run-getter with 448 runs in 16 matches, told reporters.
Sehwag was happy that his "one innings which was due" came at the right time. "My one innings was due but when it would come I didn't know. It came at a good time like (in) the playoffs… you know if you don't play well you would be out of the tournament. My conscious effort was that I play well and give a good performance and try to help my team win," said the veteran of 104 Tests and 251 ODIs.
Sehwag, who relies more on hand-eye coordination, admitted that his technique needs improvement. "My technique is not that great so I have to correct it. I have to back myself, I have to believe in myself and go out there and give my 100 per cent. If I click then the other team has to pay and if I don't click then our team has to pay," he said.
'Sanjay Bangar is like Gary Kirsten'
As the interaction was drawing to a close, Sehwag lavished praise on his Kings XI Punjab coach Sanjay Bangar. The India opener compared the former India all-rounder to India's 2011 World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten. "Our coach Sanjay Bangar did a fantastic job. He motivated everybody. If you compare Sanjay Bangar with Gary Kirsten, he is equally good. He is as calm as Gary was," Sehwag concluded.
Spotted: Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma and other celebs at Mumbai airport
Photos: Salman Khan's 'special friend' Iulia Vantur at a song launch
Photos: Hrithik Roshan, Anushka Sharma, other celebs dazzle at event
In Pictures: Sex scandals involving Indian politicians
Photos: Abhishek Bachchan and Farah Khan at Boman Irani's birthday bash