HomeCricketSehwag or Afridi: Batsman Who Revolutionized Opening In Tests

Sehwag or Afridi: Batsman Who Revolutionized Opening In Tests

- Advertisement -

Did Virender Sehwag revolutionize opening in Test cricket? I think many would agree with it. Even David Warner, who is associated with a similar playing style, credits Sehwag for instilling confidence in him.

However, Pakistan legend Wasim Akram, contrary to the opinions, has picked Shahid Afridi over Virender Sehwag as the player who changed the mindset of opening in Test cricket.

“Even if I was the bowler, I would know that I can get him out but also know that he can hit me for boundaries “

Akram in a chat show with Afridi on YouTube
- Advertisement -

Did Afridi really revolutionize opening in test cricket with his free flowing, relentless batting style? Or was it Sehwag, who really can be called the game changer?

A look at Shahid Afrdi in Test

There is no denying the fact the Afridi was one of the cleanest hitter of the cricket ball the game has seen but it was his inconsistent performances that saw his Test career cut short to a mere 27 matches. Afridi created a huge buzz post his scintillating 141 against India at Chennai in 1999-2000 as an opener in the test.

But, soon string of failures followed with an odd inning of excellence here and there; he could never become a permanent member of the Pakistan team.

BBC Sport - Cricket - Pakistan name Shahid Afridi as captain for ...
Shahid Afridi hoicks one against Monty Panesar (Image Credits:BBC)

He was in and out of the Test team and eventually had only 27 Tests to boast about his career. Afridi during his career managed to accumulate 1716 runs with 5 hundreds and 8 fifties.

As an opener too, he does not have something exceptional to portray. In the 15 Tests as an opener he only managed 892 runs with 2 hundreds.

Afridi though managed to pick 48 wickets in his Test career that makes him a decent all-rounder but as a pure batman, he was pretty average.

Virender Sehwag The Game Changer

In the very first match Virendra Sehwag opened the batting for India, he scored a 96 ball 84. He scored the runs at nearly an ODI like strike rate of 87.5. What was interesting that he continued to score while wickets tumbled at the other end. It was the first match on India’s tour to England at Nottingham, Aug-8 To 12-2002

India should not let Virender Sehwag fade away
Virender Sehwag square drives a ball in a test match (Image credits: Telegraph.co.uk)

Sehwag had made his debut a year ago in South Africa as a middle order batsman. In 2002, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly asked Sehwag to open in Test cricket after the repeated failures of the regular openers in the squad. And boy, what a opener Sehwag turned out to be.

In seaming and swinging conditions in England, he scored 237 runs in 6 innings in hard hitting and ruthless style. Sehwag through his free-spirited and fearless (without thinking out getting out) batting re-defined opening in test matches.

Even in conditions which suited the bowlers and troubled others, he continued to pile runs. With bare minimum footwork, mostly on with the help
of his hand-and-eye-coordination he scored runs at a rapid pace

As an opener he scored 8207 runs at an average of 50.04 with 22 tons and 30 fifties in 99 matches. The pace with which scored runs can be gauged from the fact that his career strike of 82.23 is the the highest for any batsman with 2000 or more runs in Tests.

Interestingly, his 284 on Day 2 of the Brabourne Test match against Sri Lanka in 2009-10 is, the third most runs by any batsman in a single
day’s play in Tests after Don Bradman’s 309 and Wally Hammond’s 295.

Very rightly, Virender Sehwag has been often termed as a game changer. The ‘Nawab of Najafgarh was a nightmare for the bowlers with his exceptional ability to blast away the opposition, irrespective of the conditions.

Afridi First But Sehwag Had a Lasting Impact

Wasim Akram supports his view by saying that Afridi opened the innings before Sehwag made his debut in 2001 and opened the batting in 2002.

“In Test cricket, Sehwag came later but in 1999-2000 Shahid Afridi changed the mindset of opening in Test cricket. “

Akram while chatting with Afridi on a Youtube chat show

While we concede that Afridi opened the innings before Sehwag did and scored runs at a brisk pace, almost akin to his batting in ODIs. But, Afridi did not have a career as long and illustrious as Sehwag to induce a change in the mindset of the test openers.

Afridi’s heroics were very brief to have been even noticed by openers from across the continents. It had to be his captain, Wasim Akram, who gave him the chance to open the innings, to remind the cricketers of Afridi’s freeless batting as a opener.

follow us on facebook for more sports news updates

- Advertisement -

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -