Shivani Shukla ∙ Updated: Jun 4 2023, 1:10 PM | 3 Min Read

Virender Sehwag Names Asia’s Best Middle Order Batter, Overlooks Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman 

image-ligyjducVirender Sehwag | Source: Twitter 

Former India opener Virender Sehwag, renowned for his explosive batting, surprised many with his pick for his favourite middle-order batter as he overlooked the likes of Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, and even Kumar Sangakkara, the star cricketers who all once dominated the batting in their era. 

To the surprise of many, Sehwag lauded former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq as the best middle-order power hitter from Asia. He also added that he would not include Sachin Tendulkar in this list because the Indian batting maestro was in a league of his own and should not be counted.

Sehwag pointed out that Inzamam remained reasonably assured during his innings and never let stressful conditions affect his performance. Here's what Sehwag told renowned anchor and host Gaurav Kapur on his famous show 'Breakfast with Champions': 

"Everyone talks about Sachin Tendulkar but Inzamam-Ul-Haq is Asia's biggest middle-order batsman. See Tendulkar was above the league of batsmen. So he doesn't count. But when it comes to the most superior-middle order batsman across India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, I have never seen anyone better than him (Inzi)."

"In that era - 2003-04 - he used to talk about scoring 8 an over. He would tell his partner, 'Don't worry. You'll score easily'. Means 80 runs in 10 overs. Other teams would panic but he was always too confident."

Taking a trip down memory lane to the 2005 match between India and Pakistan, Sehwag revealed an incident where he smartly deceived Inzamam-ul-Haq, enticing him to bring the long-on fielder up, which ultimately allowed the Indian opener to smoke a huge six.

"It was in 2005. Kaneria (Danish) was bowling round the wickets right at my pads. They were trying to stop me from scoring. I played an over or two defensively. I said to him, ‘Inzy bhai, it’s been a while. Now my legs are also hurting… How long should I stretch and take it on my pads?"

"He agreed and called the fielder closer. Kaneria bowled a googly. He didn’t know about this and I hit the googly for a six over long-on. Kaneria got angry. He said, ‘Inzi bhai, why did you bring the fielder up?’ Inzamam told him; ‘Be quiet, you don’t know what’s going on here…Go back and bowl. Otherwise, I’ll send you out from the ground." 

Inzamam-ul-Haq racked up over 20,000 runs in his illustrious International career, including 35 centuries and 129 half-centuries. He is the all-time leading run-scorer for Pakistan in ODIs and third in Tests, behind only Younis Khan and Javed Miandad.