I Thought Here we go again, another Sachin Tendulkar: Former Australian pacer Brett Lee, one of the fastest bowlers of all time, has been involved in some terrific rivalries during his career.
The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Virender Sehwag, and even Virat Kohli… all have faced Lee and were in for a real test.
Lee was quick and accurate, often flooring the opposition with his searing pace.
While Lee has always acknowledged Tendulkar as probably the toughest batter he has ever bowled to, there is one more player from India who he holds in the highest of regards – Sachin’s opening partner in ODIs, Virender Sehwag.
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Like Tendulkar, Lee has had several unforgettable battles with Sehwag – the most famous being the 2003 Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the former India opener blasted 195 on the opening day of the match.
Lee spoke at length about Sehwag and the threat he possessed to new-ball bowlers, including himself.
“You think of the word cruel. You think of the word swashbuckling. Think of the world unpredictable, I think of none other than Virender Sehwag”.
“He played with a smile on his face, with intent… the type of guy that would quite likely want to hit the first ball of a Test match for six… and he has done it. He is a guy that is so hard to bowl to because as I mentioned, the unpredictability”.
“You would bowl that beautiful line and length thinking I’ve got him… ball shaping away. And that big smile, Sehwag would go BANG, hit you over cover for six,” Lee said on his YouTube channel ‘Brett Lee TV’.
“The guy that looked a little bit like Sachin Tendulkar when he was batting. And I thought ‘here we go again”.
“Another Sachin Tendulkar. If one wasn’t enough, we’ve got another one and he is opening the batting’. We in the Australian team had a ploy for Sehwag and even start the Test match with a third man, trying to suck him in to hit one down there. We tried that in an ODI match one day and he wacked it… absolutely nailed it out of the ground”.
“I just thought ‘this guy is too good’. And he would give you that cheeky little wink. The best thing about Sehwag was that he was a character. He loved playing cricket and those little battle scars against the bowler. He got the ability to make people get hooked on to seats,” added Lee.
“A lot of people asked, ‘Is he more of a One-Day cricketer, or a T20 cricketer? I don’t believe it. I think he was perfectly suited to Test cricket because the hardest thing as a bowler when bowling the first ball of a Test match, you are trying to look for rhythm. When do you that and your first ball goes for four, it can really much of a bowler’s mind. I’ve had some great battles on the field, he’s a terrific guy off it. Virender Sehwag, you are a superstar and I hope there are many more batters who emulate your batting style,” pointed out Lee.
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