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Thanked Dhoni in my farewell speech, says Sehwag

VIRENDER SEHWAG has said that he tried to emulate legend Sachin Tendulkar when he got into the Indian team, but soon realised he didn't need to copy him to make it in the team.

"When I was growing up, I played a lot of 10- and 12-over games, I would bat in middle order. I got only 10-odd balls to face and I tried to score as much as I could. I applied the same approach in domestic and international cricket and people were appreciating my strike rate being more than 80 or 90 in Test cricket," Sehwag said when asked if his approach changed how batsmen opened the innings in a fundamental way.

"I was just playing my game and not thinking that I have to score quickly or do something different except when I joined the team and wanted to bat like Tendulkar. I realised there could be only one Tendulkar and I changed my stance and backlift. I realised I should change my game and I did it. After that, I was playing with my own technique," he told ESPN Cricinfo.

On asked whether there was only one Sehwag he said

"Yes, because of my mindset and the impact I had on the team but there was only one Tendulkar."

Sehwag who recently shifted his base from Delhi to Haryana agreed that many state associations in the country were run inefficiently.

"Yes. It's not just Delhi. There are other associations which have problems. You need to change things at U-19 and U-16 level because that's problem area. If you pick over-age players, it is a problem that needs to be identified. If you have a player whose name and stature is big, you won't have this problem," he said.

On asked whether he wants to play a role in state associations Sehwag said

"No, there is a conflict of interest. I have my Sehwag International School. So I cannot be a part of it. I cannot be a selector but if any association wants me to be a part of it, I would love to do that. There are other cricketers who have a reputation but they are not getting the opportunity to be a part of the selection panels. What is happening is that the guys in power introduce names to the selectors and the selectors then act according to these people's whims," he said.

Sehwag also feels the Indian Premier League has got several international stars of today into the limelight, in spite of the negative blemish of spot fixing in the IPL.

"Players like Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Warner, Glenn Maxwell were noticed at IPL first. It is a platform for players all over the world. If a player is playing IPL and earning money, it's not his fault that he's not playing for India. He is not quitting. He is playing first-class, one-day cricket and IPL. If selectors don't pick him, what can he do?"

The 37-year old said he doesn't want to participate in the IPL any further as he's not looking to be picked for India.

"Indian players play in IPL to get into Indian team. There is no point playing in IPL when I have retired from international cricket. I did not want a youngster to miss out because of me. Manan Vohra can now play all 14 games and if he does well, he can also get into Indian team. I didn't want to stop a youngster from playing," he said.

"I have earned a lot of money. I am not playing the game for money. If I do commentary, write articles or am an expert on a news channel, I can still earn money," he added.

On asked whether he would have liked to captain India for a longer duration he said

"I did captain India in all three formats. When Rahul (Dravid) resigned, I was not a part of the team. If I had been a part, probably I could have captained for a couple of years. I could have continued had I done well as a captain then, but it is all about opportunities."

"Dhoni was the right guy and he did a great job as captain. The important thing is that we won the World Cup and became the No. 1 Test team, which is what we sought to achieve. You can't fight with your luck."

On his relationship with current India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni he said

"We had a good relationship. People complained that I didn't thank him (during his retirement speech) but I thanked all my colleagues. So that includes him.

 We went to London to play a charity game this year and had a good chat. That shows that we are friends because only friends have a chat, or else you mind your own business. We spoke about Indian cricket and strategies and we had a good time," Sehwag added.

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