I was fearless because of Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman: Virender Sehwag

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Bengaluru, Oct 21: Former India opener Virender Sehwag considers himself lucky and has thanked Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman for helping him to be fearless in his batting in Test cricket.

Full text of Sehwag's retirement statement

Sehwag announced his retirement from international cricket and Indian Premier League on his 37th birthday day yesterday (October 20). However, he will continue to play Ranji Trophy for Haryana.

Sehwag (centre) with Tendulkar (left) and Ishant Sharma during a Test match

The Delhi right-hander, who was known for his audacious stroke-play right through his 14-year career at the international level, said that he would not have been the same player if he was playing in the current Indian team.

"My job (in Test cricket) was to score runs, opener's role was to give the team a good start. Once it was done, I used to try to play my attacking game, score runs quickly and ensure that my team had a big total," Sehwag told "ANI" news agency after his retirement.

"And it was my duty to help the bowlers have more time to get the opposition out. That is what I have always tried to do," he added.

The "Nawab of Najafgarh" spoke on the influence of the greats Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman.

"And the biggest benefit as an opening batsman was that there was big and great players Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman to bat after me. Even if there was pressure situation, they could have handled well.

"But If I was playing now, I would not have been able to bat with so much freedom. The Indian team doesn't have such great players who can handle the middle order. I consider myself lucky to have played as an opener with such great players in the middle order.

"That is one of the reasons that my batting style became fearless. I knew that the great players in the middle order were capable to handle pressure and help the team score runs," he said.

Sehwag retired from international cricket with over 17,000 runs. With his exit, the golden generation (Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman) of Indian batting has ended.

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