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The simple Nawab

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Mr. cool Virender Sehwag: ‘I believe in living a life you deserve notwithstanding your bank balance’
Mr. cool Virender Sehwag: ‘I believe in living a life you deserve notwithstanding your bank balance’

Virender Sehwag is not just another name for aggression. There is a cool and collected side to the Nawab of Najafgarh

“I have already lost half my hair; I don’t want to lose the rest contemplating who is saying what about my technique.” It is this simplicity which defines Virender Sehwag on and off the field. Going back in time, his partner in the Kotla journey used to be Ashish Nehra. “After the first Ranji season I bought an LML Vespa. Whoever rode pillion had to handle the heavy kits.” Viru, who still lugs his own kit bag, says it surprises him how young players ask others to carry their kits. “You have to respect your equipment. It is this equipment which makes your sporting life.”

Today Viru drives a BMW. “I could have bought it three or four seasons ago but I believed I didn’t deserve it then. So I continued driving my Santro. I firmly believe in living a life you deserve notwithstanding your bank balance. This helps in concentrating on the career.”

“I came from a joint family and my father was a grain merchant.My father gave me a free hand till I completed my graduation. After that he expected me to join his business. But before completing graduation, I was playing international cricket. From the beginning I knew that if I continue playing well nobody can stop me. Money would come automatically. A semi-urban background or lack of English speaking skills never gave me any complex because these things don’t matter on the ground.”

But we thought it is songs that help him ease the pressure on the pitch. “They do. When I sing, and it doesn’t matter which over of the innings it is, I concentrate on the lyrics and it takes me away from the pressure situation.”

His songs could be from films or devotional. “My all-time favourite is ‘Chala Jata Hoon Kisi Ki Dhun Main’.” Another thing that helps him is meditation. “I do deep breathing for around 20 minutes every day.”

Viru says he was always a mama’s boy. “My father was usually out on work. It was my mother who used to take care of the household and the kids.” Things have changed after marriage as his wife Aarti now controls the kitchen. “After marriage Aarti told me to concentrate on cricket and said she would take care of home. Her interest in cricket lasts as long as I am at the crease. She doesn’t advise me on cricket but she does give me tips on fitness.”

He promises to continue with his fearless ways on the pitch and to those who call it reckless, he points out his triple centuries. “I know some players with a better technique ending their careers with half the matches I have played. But, it doesn’t disturb me. The day I feel my hand-eye coordination is not working, I will retire.” Simple!

ANUJ KUMAR

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