Sachin offered to bat at No.4 to make way for Sehwag to open, reveals Ajay Ratra 

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Sachin batted at No.4 to accommodate Sehwag as an opener


Sachin offered to bat at No.4 to make way for Sehwag to open, reveals Ajay Ratra 

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SportsCafe Desk


Former India cricketer Ajay Ratra has revealed that Sachin Tendulkar made a significant contribution in Virender Sehwag’s promotion as an opener by offering to bat at No.4. While Sourav Ganguly is credited for Sehwag’s proficiency as an opener, Ratra praised Tendulkar’s aiding as well.

Sachin Tendulkar, who made his ODI debut in 1989, played 184 matches out of his first 273 as an opener in the 50-over format. While the legendary batsman was out due an injury back in 2001, the then India captain Sourav Ganguly had asked Sehwag to open in Sachin’s absence.

Ganguly partnered with Sehwag in opening the innings back on July 26 off 2001 during the Coca Cola Cup tri-series between India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.  India, who had lost their first two fixtures in the tri-series, lost the third match as well while Sehwag scored a 54-ball 33. However, Sehwag’s 33 was the highest score for India and it only took him three more innings as an opener to score a blistering 70-ball hundred to justify his place at the top of the batting order.

In this regard, former India wicket-keeper batsman Ajay Ratra credited Sachin Tendulkar for sacrificing the opening slot and offering to bat at No.4 to allow Sehwag to open for India. Ratra added that the credit for Sehwag metamorphosis should be shared amongst Ganguly and Tendulkar. 

“Sachin was doing so well as an opener at that time but Sehwag had to open. So Sachin offered to bat at No.4. Sehwag then opened with Dada (Sourav Ganguly) for that left and right combination. If Sachin hadn’t agreed then Viru probably would have had to bat lower. He wouldn’t have got the chance to open in ODIs and the story could have been a lot different,” said Ratra told Hindustan Times.

“Sachin took a different role. He volunteered to bat at No.4.He did it for the side. His role was then to bat till the 45th over. And the move worked, Viru became so successful at the top. A lot of the times, Viru is called unconventional but if his natural instinct was stopped then it might have been a different story. So Viru had the support to go for his shots and had that liberty. It is very important to back these players. Yes, people used to advise him when he used to play bad shots but he was never told to change his game,” Ratra added.

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