Virender Sehwag Curated

Former Indian Cricketer

CURATED BY :  


  • You have had some stints as a motivation speaker. How did the first motivational talk come about?

    I think it was in 2014, after I'd been dropped from the India team... I got a call from Hindustan Unilever, asking if I could distribute prizes to their most successful dealers, in Mumbai. I was then requested to interact with somebody senior in the organisation... That person, obviously, liked what I said and some of the divisions of HUL were advised to take advantage of my inspirational talk. That put me on the road to becoming a motivational speaker and I began travelling to different cities.

  • You’ve set up a school, you deliver motivational talks, you’re the cricket-specific boss at Kings XI Punjab. What else keeps you engaged?

    I have a Foundation in my name, I run six academies by the name Sehwag Cricket Academy. Please note they aren't Virender Sehwag academies... I'm their face, but the academies are a way of thanking my late father for everything he did... They're in his name, for I got the family name of Sehwag from him... I've invested in a mango pulp factory around 100 kms from Bangalore... Soon I'll be launching the Virender Sehwag Brand App as well, which will be aimed at engaging with the many loving fans I've been blessed to have. T-shirts and caps can be bought through the App and profits will go to my Foundation, which tries to help those individuals who have lost an arm or a leg.

  • Do you prepare for motivational talks?

    No. I deliver exactly the way I'd deliver over the 22 yards! Thankfully, things fall in place as soon as I begin talking.

  • Is this current Indian team too reliant on Virat Kohli?

    In Test cricket, not in the shorter formats. In ODIs, for example, we have Rohit Sharma... Rohit has three 200s in ODIs. Can't understand how, despite that, Rohit doesn't figure in our Test team... Makes no sense... He's been around for over 10 years, but has played only 25 Test matches... Besides Rohit, there's Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni... Manish... There are batsmen who have delivered.

  • What put you on the path of starting the Sehwag Internation School?

    When I was young, my father (late Krishan Sehwag) said something which never left me... I used to spend hours and hours travelling from Najafgarh to my school in Vikaspuri, then to Lajwanti Garden to practice at the Kranti Star Sports Club before coming back home... When I practiced with the Madras Club, I had to head to Jamia Millia... Besides studies, I also played at the Government Boys Senior Secondary School where Mr. Amar Nath Sharma was the coach... The long journeys were a daily time-consuming ritual... One day, my father commented that it would be better if I stayed in the vicinity of the cricket facilities. I replied that would be expensive and a drain on our family's resources. My father then said that if I ever earned enough from cricket, I should try and build a boarding school which would include facilities for sport. My father reminded me in 2005 or thereabouts and I resolved to start a school which would definitely have facilities for cricket. The idea of the SIS was born then. It's a huge regret that my father passed away in 2007 and, so, couldn't see the realization of one dream of his.

  • Is politics on the horizon for you?

    I've been working hard on cricket in the last 15 years and can't do politics right now. Will think about it later. The option of Rajya Sabha is better... As you have got Sachin (Tendulkar) there, you can do the same for me also.

  • How has the IPL fast tracked the growth of the younger generation?

    I think what the IPL did to Indian cricket is that it gave unknown players to the Indian team. If they play only for their first-class team, they will take at least five to six years to come and play for India. But through IPL, those players who have talent and who did well in one season were part of Team India the following year. Ravindra Jadeja is one of them and so is Yusuf Pathan. Recently Deepak Hooda, fast bowlers (Mohammed) Siraj and (Basil) Thampi got picked (in the Indian squad) because of their IPL performance. The IPL is giving unknown players to the Indian cricket team, Indian cricket fans and the same thing happened with other countries. Look at David Warner and Maxwell. IPL is a great platform for players to showcase their talent and it has really fat-tracked players' growth.

  • How did playing in the IPL benefit you financially?

    The IPL benefited me financially because when I played for India, it was Rs 2 lakh per game, Rs 5 lakh for Test matches and then suddenly in the IPL, you get a Rs 10-crore or Rs 12-crore contract. You are then financially secure and you can work more on fitness and perform for both IPL and India. The moment you get dropped from the Indian squad, prices drop which we have seen in case of a lot of players, especially Yuvraj, Gambhir and Harbhajan. Since they are not playing for India, they did not get Rs 10 or 12-crore contract.

  • How successful has the IPL been ever since it came into existence?

    The IPL is the biggest league in the world and one of the favourites (among various leagues) in the world because any one player, playing cricket anywhere in the world, wants to play in the IPL. So, it shows that the credibility and publicity of the IPL is so big that even an uncapped player, who is a player of some other country, wants to play in this league.

  • Why do you think the IPL is the biggest league in comparison to the other leagues around the cricketing nations?

    The IPL is the biggest because all nations' players are playing in it, which you would not find in any other league, such as Big Bash, Caribbean Premier League or Bangladesh Premier League where Indian players are not present. That's why those leagues are not as big. Only in the IPL all world-class players are playing and that is why IPL is the best in the world.

  • What kind of an impact will Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s absence have on the team if he is to retire before the 2019 World Cup?

  • What are your views on Anil Kumble’s untimely dismissal as the Indian Head Coach?

  • Do you think the Board should consult the captain of the team when they are appointing a coach?

  • What kind of an effect do the over-the-top expectations from Indian fans have on the team when they fail to achieve these expectations?

  • Does the inconsistency in the batting order hamper a team’s potential to put out a big score for the opponent?

  • How did you celebrate after winning the 2011 World Cup?

  • During the 2003 World Cup India started slowly and eventually picked up the pace and made it to the final only to lose to Australia. What changed after the first match? Can you take us through that experience?

  • What sort of struggle did you face as a budding cricketer?

    I didn’t face any challenge. After their stories, I was very lucky because cricket is a very big game in India, and wherever you go, you can get cricket facilities. But look at these guys. They hardly get any facilities, and still, they are fighting and participating in the Olympics, it’s an amazing story. So, as a cricketer, I don’t think I had any struggle in my early days.

  • Have you ever drawn inspiration from an athlete who is not a cricketer?

    No, because I was playing a game of cricket, so my hero was Sachin Tendulkar. I was watching him on television, and trying to copy him outside the television. So that was my childhood gone. And when I was growing up, I was watching a lot of badminton, lawn tennis, wrestling, (the latter) because Sushil Kumar lived near my house in Najafgarh and he was practicing in one of the akhadas, and we watched a lot of Kushti (Hindi for wrestling). So that kind of sport I like to watch.

  • A sporting career can be a struggle for anyone, when the sport in question isn’t cricket. Is this your way of ensuring the spotlight is turned on people who’ve been left out in the cold by the obsessive focus on cricket?

    I like the concept (of Umeed India). I got a lot of offers from other channels to host an entertainment show, laughter show. But I didn’t take it up as it didn’t inspire me, and that kind of shows I don’t like to do. Umeed India, taking athletes interview, it inspires me. I want to see them, I want to hear their stories, and I want to see how they’re preparing for the Olympics. So actually I want to get to know that, because that’s why I signed this show, and I’m loving it. We’ve finished almost six to seven episodes, and now in coming days I’ll finish six more, and I’ll get to know more stories about other athletes, and get to meet other athletes as well. So I’m very happy that I'm doing this show.

  • A lot of people described you as “a complete original”, a kind of player that has not been seen before. Is that something that you realise as well? Do you think you have changed the game and the approach to opening the batting in a fundamental way?

    Do you think I'm that knowledgeable? I never thought like that and I knew my game better than anyone else. When I was growing up, I played a lot of ten- and 12-over games, and I would bat in the middle order. I got only ten-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. 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.

  • A lot of people talk about the positive and negative impact of the IPL. What do you think about the IPL’s impact?

    I think it is a platform for a young Indian player. If you look at 2000-01, when I joined the team, we took 20 games to get used to international cricket. Now, someone like Shikhar Dhawan, who has played in the IPL, is used to the pace, and he scored 180-odd on Test debut against Australia. When I or Yuvraj joined, our game was not great and we took 20-25 games to score 150 or 100. Look at KL Rahul. He went to Australia and got a hundred in his second Test there. That's the impact the IPL has had on a domestic player. There has been the negative impact of spot-fixing and match-fixing but it is the individual player's responsibility to look after that because if a player wants to do that it is difficult to stop him. It is the individual player's responsibility to play fairly.

  • Do you have people coming up to you and saying that I wish there were a couple of other people who would bat like Sehwag? People say David Warner is the young Sehwag. Do you think you have impacted the game in that way?

    I don't know because when you play you don't realize the kind of impact you are making. You want to play day in and day out. If you ask the same question to Warner, he'll tell you that he is just playing his natural game. When he retires, people will say that he was an impact player in Test cricket. No other Australian opener played like that other than Michael Slater, who was very aggressive in Test matches as an opener. You don't realize that when you play. You only realize that when you retire.

  • There are concerns about the impact of the IPL on the mindset of young players who only focus on T20. Some say cricket is taught in academies around the country now with the IPL in mind.

    What is the harm if a domestic player plays in the IPL? It is only the good players who get selected to play. Give me one player who is not good and playing in the IPL. If he's good enough, he can get selected for India as well, as it is a platform. A lot of players like Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Warner, and Glenn Maxwell were noticed at the IPL first. It is a platform for players all over the world and not just Indian players. If a player is playing the IPL and earning money, it is not his fault that he is not playing for India. He is not quitting the game. He is playing first-class, one-day cricket and the IPL. If the selectors don't pick him, what can the player do?

  • You have had two long stints in domestic cricket, one before your debut and one after you were dropped. Have things changed at the domestic level and what are the things that you would like to see happen?

    I played three seasons and the gap between matches is three or four days. You play eight games in a row and only get three or four days off. You play one-dayers immediately after that and it is not fair on the fast bowlers to play back-to-back one-day games. Batsmen and spinners can manage. That's how Mohit Sharma got injured and he could not be a part of the Indian team. If you give two days off, his body will get rest and he can play. That's the problem. They want to finish first-class cricket as soon as possible instead of giving it more time. I would give this suggestion to the BCCI. If they can consider this, and give respect to domestic cricket and the same rest period as international cricket, players have a chance of performing better. You can start in October and finish in March or February. Let's have a five-match window for domestic cricket. You have eight games, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final, and give proper rest periods, which will keep players fresh. I faced this problem as captain of Haryana - the players were not getting enough rest and it was difficult to play four four-day matches with a three-day break. My team bowled 150 overs and we had to bowl again after three days as I lost the toss. It is asking too much and difficult for the fast bowlers. We have to give longer breaks if you want to produce good fast bowlers.

  • The other thing is how state associations are run. You have had enough experiences with your state association. Is it a problem that state associations are not run very efficiently?

    Yes. It is not just Delhi. There are other associations which have problems as well. You need to change things at the Under-19 and U-16 level because that's the 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.

  • I think there was a time when you were dropped from the Delhi U-19 team as well?

    I never played U-16 and played two years of U-19 because I scored 150-odd for my club against the Delhi state team and hit 17 sixes. That is when they realized that I existed and could change the game.

  • You have the three highest scores by an Indian in Test cricket. Which was the innings that gave you the greatest satisfaction?

    The 293 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai, because we won that match and became the top-ranked Test team. The Chennai Test was drawn and the Multan Test was the first of that series. We won another match and the series but 293 was the most satisfying. I took signatures of all the players on the shirt I had worn in that innings.

  • You said recently that if there is one regret of yours, it is not having a 400 in Test cricket. Is that one thing you wanted to achieve?

    There were two opportunities. When I scored 319, there were two days to go, and three days were left when I scored 293. I regret it as I had an opportunity but missed it. I am happy that I am the only one to have three scores in excess of 290.

  • A lot was written about your relationship with Dhoni.

    We had a good relationship. People complained that I didn't thank him but I thanked all my colleagues. So that includes him.

  • So was it all media speculation?

    Yes, but you have to ask Dhoni as well. 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.

  • What kind of a coach would you be?

    I'll be a friend more than a coach. The moment you think I'm the head, you don't do the right things. If you're a friend, you let them do what they want, and that's the best part about cricket because everyone has a different mindset and you need to understand what they want to do and how they want to improve. I will just guide them the way I spoke to Warner, Maxwell, David Miller, Manan Vohra or Gurkeerat Mann. Gurkeerat is a good example as he doesn't practice for two or three hours in the nets but is always ready for the game. He has to tune his mind and I talked to him a lot and understood how he thinks. I gave him a couple of ideas and told him that he has to get 200 or 300 in domestic cricket to play Test cricket. He scored a double-hundred and is now a part of the Test team as well as the limited-overs teams.

  • You did very well as a team overseas. Do you think that travelling better should be the biggest focus area for India?

    Yes. When I joined the team there were expectations that we will not do well abroad, but we did well in England, Australia, South Africa and the West Indies under Sourav's captaincy. We never won a series under him but when Dravid took over, we won in the West Indies and England. We started winning outside India under Sourav, though we didn't win a series despite coming close to defeating Australia in 2003-04. I was not a part of the team that won in England under Dravid but I was a part of the team in the West Indies and I contributed by scoring runs. We were proud of that team and these youngsters have to score outside Asia, like Virat, Vijay or Rahul have done. The one thing they have to realise when touring outside Asia is that they have to match the home team's first-innings performance. If they score 500 and you score 475, you are in the game because they will try to win the match and they will lose.

  • How would you like to be remembered?

    With my record, everyone will cheer till the time I am alive but I want to be remembered as a good human being who helped a lot of people. We still remember Don Bradman for his average and hundreds. People will remember my record but I want to be remembered as a person who helped a lot of cricketers when they were going through a rough patch.

  • Will Kings XI Punjab bid big this season?

    Yes, we are targeting a big this year because our budget is bigger this year. We have around Rs58 crores to make a team. During previous IPL editions, we only had Rs 38-40 crores to make a team, now we have Rs. 20 crores more.

  • For the 2018 IPL, Do you think any player will fetch more than Virat Kolhi’s Rs.17 crore price?

    Yes absolutely, there are 2-3 players who can fetch more. In an auction, when a team wants a specific player and there are a couple of other teams too, a bid that starts for Rs. 2 crores can end up going till even Rs. 20 crores. We saw last time, Mumbai Indians didn’t have the money to buy Ben Stokes so he went for Rs. 14 crores. This time, everyone has the money for Ben Stokes. So maybe, he can cross Virat Kohli’s number.

  • Punjab fans are wondering: Why did you decide to retain Axar Patel despite so many international stars in the team?

    I think an Indian player’s value is more in the IPL. When we recruited Axar Patel three years back, he was an uncapped player. He came to Punjab for Rs 30 lacs and since then, has played for India. If he would have been part of the auction, he could have definitely fetched Rs. 8-10 crores. He is a useful player like Ravindra Jadeja. Axar is in his category. He is a bowling all-rounder, which is necessary, and he can bowl 4 overs. He has batted extremely well in a few matches last season. He is a big hitter. For the past 2 years, we have been trying to improve his batting. Then, he can become the perfect all-rounder.

  • Were you surprised when your Delhi colleague Gautam Gambhir wasn’t retained by KKR?

    I was not shocked, because every team has their own thinking. I was not shocked when Delhi Daredevils did not decide to retain me after having played there for the past 6 years. I too was part of the auction then. I am not surprised. Many teams are parting with their old players because their price at the auction will be less, then maybe they might retain them. This could be their strategy of using RTM.

  • What about Gayle? Surprised that RCB didn’t retain him?

    No. Gayle is now getting old. He is not the same Gayle that he once was. Last year, he played in the IPL and his performance wasn’t at that level that he was once renowned for. Teams take into account this factor when they enter the auction. Maybe RCB might go after Gayle again at the auction.

  • Did singing on the pitch come naturally to you when you played against England during the Natwest Series?

  • Describe your journey in the Indian Cricket team when you were selected as the opening batsman for test cricket

  • Do you still regret the long shot which made you out at 195 runs when you played against Australia?

  • Did you want to join the hindi commentatory?

  • Do you feel that the present Indian Cricket Team Members can win the 2019 world cup?

  • What is the most memorable moment for you in your cricket career?

  • Why do you whistle songs tunes in the pitch during the match?

  • How can you be so cool when Ravi Shastri is taking you interview?

  • How is Greg Chappell to you when he was the coach of the Indian National Cricket Team?

  • Describe your moments when you scored a duck?

  • Describe your role as a cricket commentator.

  • How do you feel as the coach of team, Kings XI Punjab?

  • As a coach, how do you treat the bowlers after the match ends?

  • उस पल के बारे में बताएं जब आपने वेस्टइंडीज के खिलाफ एकदिवसीय मैच में दोहरा शतक बनाया था।

  • What conversation do you do with Sachin when you are playing with him on the pitch?

  • What mantra do you follow when you play an intense match with a cool mind?

  • Do you enjoy playing cricket with Rahul Dravid?

  • How do you compare yourself with Tendulkar?

  • क्या आप राहुल द्रविड़ के साथ क्रिकेट खेलने का आनंद लेते हैं?

  • एक कोच के रूप में, आप मैच समाप्त होने के बाद गेंदबाजों के साथ कैसा व्यवहार करते हैं?

  • आप टीम किंग्स इलेवन पंजाब के कोच, के रूप में कैसा महसूस करते हैं?

  • एक क्रिकेट कमेंटेटर के रूप में अपनी भूमिका का वर्णन करें।

  • पिच पर सचिन के साथ आपकी बातचीत कैसी है?

  • उस पल के बारे में बताएं जब आपने वेस्टइंडीज के खिलाफ एकदिवसीय मैच में दोहरा शतक बनाया था।

  • उन क्षणों का वर्णन करें जब आपने एक डक बनाया था?

  • How was it like when Ravi Shastri took your interview?

  • जब आप भारतीय राष्ट्रीय क्रिकेट टीम के कोच थे, तब ग्रेग चैपल आपके साथ कैसे थे?

  • जब कोई नया बल्लेबाज आपके साथ साझेदारी करने के लिए आया तो आपने अपना मूड कैसे हल्का किया?

  • आप प्रसिद्ध TIME पत्रिका के फ्रंट पेज को अनुग्रहित करने वाले कुछ चुनिंदा क्रिकेटरों में से एक हैं। यह कैसे हुआ?

  • एक दौर था जब श्रीलंकाई स्पिनर अजंता मेंडिस ने दुनिया भर के बल्लेबाजों को परेशान किया था, लेकिन दूसरी तरफ आपने उनके खिलाफ इतनी आसानी से बल्लेबाजी की। क्या आप ऐसा करने में सक्षम होने के लिए कोई विशेष तैयारी कर रहे थे?

  • आपके लिए स्लेजिंग का अनुभव कैसा रहा?

  • आप इन दिनों ट्विटर और फेसबुक जैसे सोशल मीडिया प्लेटफॉर्म पर अक्सर देखे जाते हैं। इसके पीछे कारण क्यों है?

  • आप एक रचनात्मक टिप्पणीकार के रूप में जाने जाते हैं। उस पर आपका क्या विचार है?

  • एक खिलाड़ी से कोच बनने तक आपका संक्रमण कैसा रहा जब से आपने किंग्स इलेवन पंजाब की कमान संभाली है?

  • आपने गेंदबाजों के साथ किस रणनीति का इस्तेमाल किया?

  • आपके डबल सेन्चरी की तुलना आपके ट्रिपल सेन्चरी की तुलना में ज्यादा नहीं हुई। तुम्हे उस के बारे में क्या कहना है?

  • आप मैदान पर राहुल द्रविड़ के पूर्ण विपरीत थे। आप हंसमुख और मुक्त उत्साही थे जबकि द्रविड़ गंभीर हुआ करते थे। पिच पर आपके साथ उनका कैसा रिश्ता था?

  • वह पल कैसा था जब आप पहली बार सैचिन तेंदुलकर से मिले?

  • आपके सीनियर कैसे थे?

  • क्या आपके पास पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ खेलने की कोई अच्छी कहानी है?

  • What did you learn from playing alongside Sachin Tendulkar?

  • Your international career fast tracked when you were pushed to open for India by Sourav Ganguly. Do you credit him for your success?

  • क्या आपने प्रत्येक वर्ष की शुरुआत में लक्ष्य निर्धारित करते थे?

  • एक खिलाड़ी अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर अपनी जगह बनाए रखने के लिए क्या कर सकता है?

  • जब आप बल्लेबाजी करने के लिए मैदान पर जाते थे तो आप क्या सोचते थे?

  • क्या आपको लगता है कि हर क्रिकेटर एक मंदी से गुजरता है?

  • What helps a player get through a slump in their form?

  • आप क्रिकेट में कैसे आए?

  • Who scouted you?

  • Do you think players should have a preference on which position they choose to bat at?

  • What role does the media play in shedding light on good players from all across the country?

  • You were told by some big names to change your style and be less aggressive. What are your views on that?

  • आपकी आक्रामकता गेंदबाजों के लिए काफी अपमानजनक थी। उसके बारे में आप क्या कहना चाहेंगे?

  • आपका आक्रामक स्वभाव 190+ रनों पर कई बार आउट होने का कारण रहा है। आपने इसे कैसे सुधारा?

  • शोएब अख्तर के साथ आपकी गहन प्रतिद्वंद्विता थी। कोई भी कहानी जो आप साझा करना चाहेंगे?

  • आपने उन स्थितियों को कैसे संभाला है जहां आपको एक बड़ा स्कोर बनाना था?

  • आपके कुछ साथियों ने कहा है कि आप बल्लेबाजी करते समय गाने गाते थे। उसके पीछे क्या कारण था?

  • How was your first experience facing Shoaib Akhtar? How did you improvise the next time you faced him?

  • How did your famous 309 knock against Pakistan which earned you the nickname “Multan ka Sultan” come about?

  • You have always said that Sachin has been the guiding force in your career. Tell us more.

  • Sachin once said that he learned to play some shots from you. How does it feel to be given such praise from your idol?

  • सचिन तेंदुलकर से आपने क्या सीखा?

  • आपने अपने रिटायरमेंट का फैसला कैसे किया?

  • आप भारत के क्रिकेट प्रेमियों को क्या संदेश देना चाहेंगे?

  • एक क्रिकेटर के निजी जीवन पर धावा करने वाले प्रशंसकों पर आपके विचार क्या हैं?

  • आपने हमेशा कहा है कि आपकी पत्नी आपके करियर का एक महत्वपूर्ण हिस्सा रही है। हमें और अधिक बताएँ।

  • आपकी सेवानिवृत्ति के बाद बीसीसीआई द्वारा उचित विदाई नहीं दिए जाने पर आपके विचार क्या हैं?

  • How was your relationship with MS Dhoni? Implying he was the one who was facing blame for you being dropped from the national squad?

  • जब भी आपने राष्ट्रीय पक्ष या अपने आईपीएल पक्ष की कप्तानी की है, आप अपने गेंदबाजों को बहुत अधिक सलाह नहीं देने के लिए जाने जाते हैं। उसके पीछे क्या कारण है?

  • आप अपने करियर में बहुत फिसले हैं। क्या आप एक अनुभव साझा कर सकते हैं?

  • आपको स्वीकार करने वाले पहले महान लोग कौन थे?

  • How do you feel when upcoming stars are compared to legends?

  • आपका सबसे अच्छा साथी कौन था?

  • पाकिस्तान में खेलने का अनुभव कैसा रहा? क्या आपका स्वागत गर्मजोशी से या शत्रुता के साथ किया गया?

  • क्या आपको ड्रेसिंग रूम की याद आती है?

  • Which bowler troubled you the most?

  • Where did your aggressiveness come from?

  • How did you feel being one of the five batsmen alongside Sachin, Sourav, Dravid and Laxman who formed the backbone of the Indian Test Side for years?

  • Your teammates gave you credit for their performance because you gave the team such a good start with your batting. How happy does this acknowledgement make you?

  • What was the most memorable moment of your career?

  • Which achievements of yours with the national team make you proud?

  • Did you think of achieving milestones before you went out to bat?

  • The Indian national side was infamously called “Lambs Abroad” because of poor performance on foreign soil until Sourav Ganguly took charge. How did it feel to be a part of that Sourav-led team which finally started performing well on foreign soil?

  • You became the first Indian to score a triple century in Test cricket. How did it feel back then when you realized what you had just achieved?

  • How did it feel winning the inaugural T20 World Cup title in 2007?

  • Can you take us through the 2011 World Cup winning journey?

  • Do you think India will ever find an opener as good as you?

  • आपको किस टीम के खिलाफ सबसे अधिक स्कोर करना पसंद था?

  • आप किस गेंदबाज का सबसे ज्यादा सम्मान करते हैं?

  • आपके अनुसार आपके समय का सबसे अच्छा कोच कौन था?

  • आपके अनुसार कौन बेहतर है, विदेशी कोच या भारतीय कोच?

  • What are your thoughts on the current batch of the Indian fast-paced lineup?

  • अपनी कमेंट्री के बारे में कुछ बताइए।

  • क्या आप कोई अंधविश्वास में विश्वास करते थे?

  • You were famously denied a century by Sri Lankan bowler Suraj Randiv when he delivered a no ball with India needing just 1 run to win and you were on strike after scoring 99. You hit a six but it wasn’t counted because it was a no ball. Did you feel angry or sad then?

  • How did you manage to stay calm and collected when everyone around you was tense?

  • खिलाड़ियों पर मीडिया द्वारा की गई अनुचित आलोचना के बारे में आपके क्या विचार हैं

  • हम भारतीय टीम के लिए चयन प्रक्रिया में पक्षपात का अंत कैसे कर सकते हैं?

  • क्या आप BCCI से जुड़े रहना चाहते हैं?

  • युवा खिलाड़ी को आप क्या सलाह देंगे?

  • किस कोच ने आपको अपने करियर का सबसे कठिन समय दिया?

  • क्या कोई भारतीय कप्तान था जिसे आपको साथ नहीं मिला?

  • क्या आपने अपनी सेवानिवृत्ति की घोषणा करने की तारीख तय किया थे?

  • आपके परिवार ने आपकी सेवानिवृत्ति की घोषणा पर कैसे प्रतिक्रिया दी?

  • रिटायर होने के बाद आपको सबसे ज्यादा क्या निराश करता है?

  • देशीय क्रिकेट को बढ़ावा देने के लिए बीसीसीआई क्या कर सकता है?

  • After winning the 2011 World Cup, your team was called even better than Kapil Dev’s 1983 victorious side. What do you have to say about that?

  • What kind of impact has the IPL made on Indian cricket according to you?

    I think it is a platform for a young Indian player. If you look at 2000-01, when I joined the team, we took 20 games to get used to international cricket. Now, someone like Shikhar Dhawan, who has played in the IPL, is used to the pace, and he scored 180-odd on Test debut against Australia. When I or Yuvraj joined, our game was not great and we took 20-25 games to score 150 or 100. Look at KL Rahul. He went to Australia and got a hundred in his second Test there. That's the impact the IPL has had on a domestic player. There has been the negative impact of spot-fixing and match-fixing but it is the individual player's responsibility to look after that because if a player wants to do that it is difficult to stop him. It is the individual player's responsibility to play fairly.

  • People say cricket nowadays is taught in academies around the country with the IPL in mind. How do you feel about this changing the attitude of youngsters towards the longer format because they are focusing only on T20?

    What is the harm if a domestic player plays in the IPL? It is only the good players who get selected to play. Give me one player who is not good and playing in the IPL. If he's good enough, he can get selected for India as well, as it is a platform. A lot of players like Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Warner and Glenn Maxwell were noticed at the IPL first. It is a platform for players all over the world and not just Indian players. If a player is playing the IPL and earning money, it is not his fault that he is not playing for India. He is not quitting the game. He is playing first-class, one-day cricket and the IPL. If the selectors don't pick him, what can the player do?

  • Which was the innings that gave you the greatest satisfaction?

    The 293 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai, because we won that match and became the top-ranked Test team. We won another match and the series but 293 was the most satisfying. I took signatures of all the players on the shirt I had worn in that innings.

  • What kind of a coach would you be?

    I'll be a friend more than a coach. The moment you think I'm the head, you don't do the right things. If you're a friend, you let them do what they want, and that's the best part about cricket because everyone has a different mindset and you need to understand what they want to do and how they want to improve. I will just guide them the way I spoke to Warner, Maxwell, David Miller, Manan Vohra or Gurkeerat Mann. Gurkeerat is a good example as he doesn't practice for two or three hours in the nets but is always ready for the game. He has to tune his mind and I talked to him a lot and understood how he thinks. I gave him a couple of ideas and told him that he has to get 200 or 300 in domestic cricket to play Test cricket. He scored a double-hundred and is now a part of the Test team as well as the limited-overs teams.

  • What would be an ideal mix when it comes to the Indian squad for the 2019 World Cup?

    Experience counts and I say that from my own experience of three World Cups - 2003, 2007 and 2011. We made the final in 2003 and won in 2011, with only 2007 a disaster. Ideally, the experience of 100 ODIs would be great, but even between 50-100 would be very handy in absorbing pressure. So, players with experience and a few not that experienced is what I'd like.

  • How did you approach matches against Pakistan?

    I'd be charged up because you don't want to finish on the losing side. I wanted to score or, at least, take a crucial catch or effect a match-influencing run out. Kuch kar dikhana rehta tha and it would be really tough to stay relaxed.

  • Are Indian fans too influenced by performances in the IPL?

    If that was so, then Hanuma Vihari wouldn't have played for India, for his last appearance in the IPL was in 2015. Of course, quite a few have first got noticed in the IPL and, then, played for India.

  • Did the reputation of the bowlers you faced worry you?

    The bowlers' reputation didn't affect me, but it's not that I didn't prepare for the bowlers. I'd study their footage, look at their strengths and then decide to target their weak spots... Let nobody be under a wrong impression that success will come at the highest level without adequate preparation. It doesn't happen that way...

  • Is it embarrassing to be compared to Sachin Tendulkar?

    It is embarrassing, yet it makes me feel very happy that I am compared to my role model. I don't think I am half of what he is. I do copy him, but his records and his style cannot be touched by anyone. I was and even today I am his fan.

  • How difficult was it to recalibrate your batting from a one-day opener to a Test opener?

    There was no difficulty because I did not change my game. I scored a hundred at Nottingham where the ball was swinging in the same manner that I play in one-day cricket. There is a very slight attempt at restricting some shots but other than that I am much the same. I have been asked to stay at the wicket and take the shine off the ball so the middle-order batsmen can come in and score their runs. But as an opener I am different because I am a stroke player. Even by playing your strokes you can take the shine off the ball. I am trying to leave the balls outside the off-stump.

  • What is the effect of confidence on a player like you?

    It makes you feel light. Even if I fail in four innings now I am sure I will not be thrown out. If you are permanent in the team you are more confident and want to give all you have without fearing the risk of losing your place.