Virender Sehwag, during his playing days, was famous for his cool attitude on the field. He hardly cared about the situation or the format of the game and always went after the bowlers. He never listened to anyone be it the coach or his skipper Sourav Ganguly. The former Indian captain recalled such an incident when Sehwag totally ignored his advice.
Ganguly recently appeared on the famous show Breakfast With Champions. He remembered the famous Natwest Series of 2002 in which India won the famous final at the Lord’s. England, after batting first had scored a massive 325/5 on the back of centuries from Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain.
During those days, it was a huge score and was difficult to chase down, unlike modern days. During that time, Ganguly and Sehwag used to open the innings in ODI cricket. The captain was gutted while walking out to bat as India had been making it to several finals but kept losing after oppositions scored in excess of 300.
The Price of Kolkata was worried but Sehwag was whistling and was unflustered as he asked his captain to remain calm and assured that India would win the match. The duo began pretty well and smashed the English new ball bowlers. The score reached 81/0 after 12 overs and the Men in Blue were well on course to chase down the total.
Ganguly had already brought up his half-century while his partner was batting on 22. In the 13th over, the medium-pacer Ronnie Irani came into the attack. The skipper warned Sehwag that the team had got off to a great start and that there was no need to take any risks and 7-8 runs from the over would be sufficient.
But Sehwag’s eyes lit up as soon as he saw the gentle pace and he smashed the first ball to deep mid-wicket as the ball went one bounce into the fence. Ganguly walked up to the right-hander and asked him to play steadily and not to lose his wicket. Sehwag pretended to listen to him but once again sent the ball to the boundary.
The worries for the skipper increased and he once again cautioned his opening partner. But the Delhi-lad swept the next ball off the stumps and guided the ball to the fine-leg boundary. After playing the stroke, Sehwag avoided looking towards the non-striker and got ready to face the next ball.
Even after collecting 12 runs from the over, he wasn’t satisfied and 2 balls later, played a flick shot from wide outside the off stump to the square leg fence. Ganguly got furious and didn’t meet Sehwag for the next 2 overs. He mentioned that Sehwag listened to no one but he wouldn’t spare him if he got out in such an attempt.
The opening pair added 106 runs for the first wicket and provided a great platform. India’s middle-order then crumbled and they were down to 146/5 at the departure of Sachin Tendulkar. But Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif formed a wonderful partnership and gave India a famous win. More than anything else, the game is remembered for Ganguly’s shirt-waving at the Lord’s balcony after winning the match.