Mumbai, May 17: Former India opener Virender Sehwag has listed out the best pacers he has faced in his illustrious cricket career and put former New Zealand quick, Shane Bond, as the toughest he has faced in his career.
While speaking on an episode of Home of Heroes, Sports18's newest offering, the explosive Test batter said the former Kiwi fast bowler's ability to swing the ball inwards with that speed made him the toughest.
"His deliveries would come swinging into your body, even if he bowled outside off stump," Sehwag said. The Nawab of Najafgarh added Australia's pace spearhead Brett Lee and Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar were the other two who were the quickest he faced.
"I never feared facing Brett Lee, but with Shoaib (Akhtar), I could not trust what he would do if I hit him twice to the fence. Maybe a beamer or a toe-crushing yorker," Sehwag, who considered the Pakistan pacer his 'boundary bowler', added further.
No wonder the right-handed batter enjoyed facing Shoaib and his team in Tests as he averaged over 90 with a century, two double tons and a triple century against the arch-rivals. His audacious strokeplay was a breath of fresh air Test cricket needed. Instead of going through the grind for big scores, Sehwag backed his method behind the madness.
"Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly all would score their centuries playing 150-200 balls. If I scored hundreds at the same rate, no one would remember me. I had to score runs faster than them to create my identity," Sehwag added.
Sehwag continued his 'see the ball, hit the ball' ways and in his inimitable style, the Delhi cricketer called out former Akhtar's action.
"Shoaib knows he used to jerk his elbow; he knew he was chucking too. Why would ICC ban him otherwise?" Sehwag says with a chuckle. "Brett Lee's hand came down straight, so it was easy to pick the ball. But with Shoaib, you could never guess where the hand and the ball will come from."
Sehwag also revealed that milestones never stopped him from taking his foot off the pedal. "I always thought that if I stayed till the end of the day, I should score 250 runs, and in that process, I obviously would have to cross 100, 150, 200 and so on," added Sehwag. "So, there was no pressure in hitting a ball to or over the fence in the nineties because the goal was not to stop at 100."
Watch the first part of Virender Sehwag's interview on 'Home of Heroes' on Sports18 at 7:00 PM on May 19.