People like troublemakers, especially in cricket. Not the ones who threaten the integrity of the sport, but the ones who surprise the world with the sheer audacity with which they do things. These players never bow down, never take disrespect, and go about their business as if they have nothing to lose.
Virender Sehwag is one of them. Here are a few instances of Sehwag being his fearless, adamant self which make his game once in a lifetime phenomena.
1. Back in 2004 when Sehwag was on the verge of creating history with his (and India's) first triple hundred, Sachin reportedly told him, "Tu six nahi marega". The reason being, Sehwag was at 295 at that point and we all know what was coming next.
Sehwag being Sehwag, told Sachin:
Saqlain Mushtaq bowl karne aaya toh main six jaroor maroonga.
And he did what he had said. He hit a 6 off a Saqlain Mushtaq delivery and the rest is history.
2. To be honest, his carefree nature did cost him some records; but there was no regret so bad that Sehwag couldn't bounce back from it.
3. Once a reporter asked Sehwag what the batsman thought about the criticism coming his way for sloppy footwork.
To this, Sehwag boldly said, "They don’t know I used to throw 10 buckets of water on flat pitches, just to practice that shot".
4. In another press conference, he was asked about his approach towards the much-feared pacers. And in one line, Sehwag summed up his entire career:
I don’t hit the bowler, I hit the ball.
5. So you see? You could place anyone in front of Sehwag but he wouldn't get intimidated. It could be Shoaib Akhtar, it could be Brett Lee. Anyone. Oh, Brett Lee reminds me of this.
6. This one time Geoffery Boycott (who, as you may know, always had a lot to say), made a comment on Viru, saying that while he thinks the batsman is talented, he is also 'brainless'. To this, Sehwag responded:
Boycott can say what he wants. He once batted the whole day and hit just one four.
6. Sehwag's responses have always been honest. Case in point: This is what happened when Shoaib Akhtar, to his credit, decided to praise the Indian.
7. And his belief in himself was something you'd envy. After the 2011 World Cup, his chances of getting into the national squad started getting slimmer by the day. But when told, "You may never play for India again", he reportedly said:
Well, whose loss is that?
8. Self-belief wasn't his only strength, though. Sehwag also had immense faith in his teammate, especially friend and idol Sachin Tendulkar. In what has now become an iconic fight of words, Shoaib Akhtar asked Sehwag to pull a hook shot during one of the matches between India and Pakistan and the latter simply responded:
9. Viru wasn't really the one to get intimidated by bowlers, that has been established, but it's one thing not being scared and another, being totally chill. I mean, we all remember him singing kaise batayein kyun tujhko chahein while hitting shots, right?
10. That's just the way he was as a player. He didn't care much except for the thrill and the love of the game, evident by this one line which sums up his entire approach towards cricket.