Virender Sehwag, Matthew Hayden changed definition of Test batting: Ganguly

Kolkata, Sep 30: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said on Friday (Sep 30) that modern-day Test openers are always on the edge if they fail to score at a brisk pace because of Virender Sehwag and Matthew Hayden -- who started the trend.

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"You look at modern-day openers who are criticised for not getting runs quickly. It was all started by Virender Sehwag and Mathew Hayden. To a certain extent even Justin Langer, but in Tests these two changed the definition of batting," Ganguly told a talk show arranged to commemorate India's 500 Tests.

India played the 500th Test match in Kanpur where they decimated New Zealand by 197 runs.

"We were chasing 325 in England (Natwest Series final 2002) and I remember Viru whistling down the staircase. When I used to walk in to bat with him I used to say 'thoda sa defend karle tu century banayega (defend initially, you'll get a big score). But then I thought it is best to let players express themselves," Ganguly recalled.

To that Sehwag waxed eloquent about his captain, saying a successful player has to have a successful skipper to back him.

"I never had fear because my captain (Ganguly) would always back me. I also knew that the batsmen after me were all great. The likes of Rahul (Dravid), Sachin (Tendulkar), Sourav (Ganguly), (VVS) Laxman, M.S. Dhoni were there, so I could relax," Sehwag said.

"I remember when I went to England I was going through a rough patch. Sourav then walked up to me and said he is with me come what may and that I won't be dropped. Certain captains back certain players. You need that backing."


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