‘I still have butterflies in my stomach when I face the first ball’

He is perceived to be a fearless batsman but flamboyant Virender Sehwag says he feels “nervous” and has butterflies in his stomach whenever he faces the first ball. But he never shows it to the bowler

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published: August 29, 2012 1:30:31 am

He is perceived to be a fearless batsman but flamboyant Virender Sehwag says he feels “nervous” and has butterflies in his stomach whenever he faces the first ball. But he never shows it to the bowler.

“Every time when I go to the crease and prepare to face the first ball,I’m nervous and there are butterflies in my tummy. I never show it because if the bowler senses it,he’ll come hard at me and try to put me under pressure,” Sehwag said.

“I have to send across a message to the bowler,‘I’m here to face you with a lot of aggression and confidence’. This is whether I play a defensive shot or an attacking one,” he said.

Sehwag reckoned that it was his mental strength and the self-confidence which has helped him to dominate the bowlers in international cricket.

“I think it’s the mental strength. I have the self confidence and the belief that I can play well against any team and score against any bowling attack,” he told BCCI’s official website on Tuesday.

“International cricket is all about mental toughness. If you’re strong in your mind and can control your mind,you can perform against anybody. That’s my biggest strength.”

The 33-year-old Sehwag said that of late he has changed his approach to batting slightly was was willing to hang in for some time before playing his strokes.

“Now I’m a little more careful about how the wicket is behaving,whether the ball is swinging or not and how the bowling attack is. I give a little more time to myself to understand the conditions and situation well and then plan my innings accordingly,” he said.

“Having said that,if somebody bowls a half-volley on a green top,I’ll still go after it and I’ll still play my square cuts if the ball is pitched short outside the off-stump,” Sehwag said.

“But if a bowler is bowling in good areas,I have to give respect to the new ball rather than the bowler. If I do that and play 10-12 overs with caution,the ball gets old by the time and the bowlers start to get a bit tired. Then,I can take them on,” Sehwag added.

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