Virender 'Viru' Sehwag was one of the most destructive openers to have played for India. And, it was his confidence that had proved to be a nightmare for bowlers across the world. He was so confident of his batting that he told VVS Laxman that one day he will become the first Indian to score 300 runs in test cricket. Few years later he proved it in Multan, Pakistan.
New Delhi, Nov 28: Virender 'Viru' Sehwag was one of the most destructive openers to have played for India. And, it was his confidence that had proved to be a nightmare for bowlers across the world. He was so confident of his batting that he told VVS Laxman that one day he will become the first Indian to score 300 runs in test cricket. Few years later he proved it in Multan, Pakistan. In his autobiography, '281 and Beyond', VVS has revealed how Viru had promised him 300 runs. This happened when Laxman had missed 300 and was out for 281 against Australia in Kolkata. Laxman's dream of seeing an Indian score 300 was fulfiled by Sehwag.Excerpt from '281 and Beyond'First, a confession. I am an unabashed admirer of Viru. Actually, make that two confessions. When I first saw him bat, I didn’t think he had it in him to be consistently successful at the highest level.Viru’s unique talent expressed itself during the 2001 ODI series against Australia. In the first match in Bangalore, he blasted 58, took three wickets with his off-spin, and was the man of the match. The night before the Pune match, we had gone out for dinner —Viru, Zak and I. Out of the blue, Viru told me, ‘Laxman bhai, you had a great opportunity to make a triple hundred in the Kolkata Test, but unfortunately, you didn’t. Now you wait and watch, I will become the first Indian to score 300 in Test cricket.’My jaw dropped and I stared at him in astonishment. This guy had played just four ODIs, wasn’t anywhere close to Test selection, and here he was, making the most outrageous of claims. For a second, I thought he was joking, but Viru was dead serious. To be honest, I didn’t know what to make of it.Viru’s preparation was unlike anything the rest of us did. He kept things to a bare minimum. I have never seen him over-prepare. He would bat in the nets, take his quota of catches, and then retire to the dressing room — no extra throw-downs, no additional knocking. He semi-mocked us: ‘You must play more balls in the match, not at practice.’ You can’t argue with that logic, not when it worked so often for him.After the Multan triple hundred, he came up to me and laughed, ‘I told you so, VVS.’ I couldn’t have been happier that my 281 had been surpassed. For a country that had given the world so many great batsmen, not having a triple centurion was an aberration. Viru set that record straight. It had taken him less than three years to translate his prophecy into reality. I was curious to know where he had got the confidence from to make that prediction in Pune. ‘In order to get to a triple, you have to score very quickly, VVS,’ he explained, as if to a child. ‘You need to play a lot of shots and get your runs very quickly. In this Indian team, I didn’t see anyone else doing that.’ It was said not with arrogance, but from an understanding of his game and inherent intelligence. He knew that he had a better chance than anyone else of getting to 300 because of the nature of his game, high-risk but also high-reward, as the records indicate.(Excerpted from 281 and Beyond by VVS Laxman, published by Westland Sport)