Sachin is the most humble person on earth, says Sehwag

Former India opening batsman Virender Sehwag was tasked with inspiring young wards at Cricket Beyond Technique academy, and he did not disappoint.

Virender Sehwag interacts with youngsters at Cricket Beyond Technique academy in Bengaluru on Thursday. Former first-class cricketers J. Arunkumar (red cap) and Mithun Manhas (blue shirt, grey cap) are also seen.   -  Photo: Ashwin Achal

Former India opening batsman Virender Sehwag was tasked with inspiring young wards at Cricket Beyond Technique academy, and he did not disappoint.

Addressing a large audience of junior cricketers and their parents at the academy’s inauguration function here on Thursday, Sehwag recalled an incident which showcased Sachin Tendulkar’s humble nature.

“During the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, as we were getting down from our team bus, there was a disabled man who was waiting nearby to greet us. Only Sachin walked up to him, shook his hand, and took a photograph. Nobody other than Sachin even said hello to that disabled man. He is the most humble person on earth, and that’s the reason for his success,” Sehwag said, to wild applause.

The charismatic cricketer spoke about the importance of self-confidence. “The moment you lose self-confidence, you lose everything. When you have self-confidence, you gain everything. When I was dropped from the Indian team, I didn’t lose heart. I knew that I have a lot of talent, and that I could score big runs against any bowling attack in the world. I then made big knocks in domestic cricket, and made my comeback,” he said.

“I listened to advice given by many people, but I did it my way. Everyone has an opinion—be it Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin or K. Srikkanth—but you are the best judge of your own batting,” Sehwag said.

The Kings XI Punjab coach cited the contribution made by J. Arunkumar, the head of Cricket Beyond Technique academy, during the early years of his career. Sehwag and Arunkumar first met in 1996, when the two played together for the Air India team. “When I was 16-17, I was lucky to share a dressing room with Arunkumar. He was an opener too, and I learnt a lot from him. When Sourav Ganguly asked me to open for India, I recalled how Arunkumar would attack in the first 15 overs. I remember Arunkumar telling me that in order to succeed in the Powerplay, I have to face more balls. I applied this in international cricket, and I didn't give (opening partner) Sachin the strike. That’s how I became famous,” Sehwag said.

When a parent asked Sehwag for diet tips that her child could follow, she received a typically forthright reply. “I came from a humble family. We could not afford high protein foods like chicken and fish. I loved to eat aloo parathas. I also drank two litres of milk a day. My parents told me that if I work hard, I can digest anything.”

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