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Virender Sehwag recalls how Anil Kumble saved his Test career

By Alan

May 26, 2022

Former Indian cricketer, Virender Sehwag was one of the most destructive batters in the world during his playing days. He used to play courageous cricket even in the longest format of the game, and that got him the best results. However, things were not always simple for him, just like any other player.

The right-handed batter was released from the national team in early 2007 and was sidelined for about a year. However, during Anil Kumble‘s term as captain, Sehwag was recalled to the Test team after an 11-month absence. The opener was named in India’s team for the tour of Australia that year, when he played his first Test match in the year.

Former Indian cricketer has credited famous Indian spinner, Anil Kumble, for resurrecting his career in the game’s longest format. “Score a 50 in this match, and you will be picked for the match in Perth,” Sehwag recalled Kumble’s words in Sports18’s show ‘Home of Heroes’.

The veteran batter scored an excellent century before lunch in a practice match against ACT Invitation XI. As promised by the skipper, Sehwag played in Perth and gave a decent start to his team, scoring 29 and 43. However, in the following match in Adelaide, the right-handed batsman demonstrated his class by scoring 63 in the first innings and then following it up with a match-saving knock of 151 in the second innings to help India draw the match.

“Those 60 runs were the toughest I scored in my life. I was playing to repay the faith Anil Bhai put in me. I did not want anyone to question him for bringing me to Australia. I was focused on the striker’s end; on the other end, I spoke to the umpire, humming my favourite songs. The pressure was gone,” added Sehwag.

The 43-year-old played 104 matches and scored 8586 runs at an impressive average of over 50 and a massive strike rate of 82.2. In addition, he hit 32 fifties, 23 hundreds, and six double hundreds.