By Chandraboli Mitra
Durban: Nov 15, 2011
Former South African great Graeme Pollock hailed big-hitting Indian opener Virender Sehwag, saying that he is one batsman who can change the course of a match single-handedly.
"Sehwag certainly is the most dangerous batsman. He can be instrumental in turning a game around completely and give enough time to his team to go for the victory," said Pollock.
Sehwag is often criticised for lack of footwork but the 67-year-old South African felt the opener doesn't have to rely too much on feet movement.
"You do not need to have so much of footwork. The kind of player he is, he can set his own rules. You have to set your own rules and follow them," insisted Pollock.
Pollock, who himself had limited footwork during his playing days, felt that footwork is an overrated phenomena these days.
"Yes, footwork is overrated. You just need to get into a position, balance yourself and take advantage of a delivery.
That's it," Pollock, who was here to play in the 2nd edition of the World Cricket Legends in the Phinda Game Reserve between former India and South African players, organised by the Beyond Boundaries, said.
Despite the fact that footwork is given a lot of importance by coaches these days, Pollock said that "the coaching techniques have improved a lot over the years".
The former cricketer, who averaged 60.87 from 23 Tests, said that his brand of cricket would have suited the Twenty20 version of the game.
"Yes, I think I could have played Twenty20 cricket well.
In fact, if you get your basics rights, you can actually play in any format of the game. All Test players, according to me, can play well in both the one-dayers and Twenty20."
Pollock, however, said that it was not a very good sign that Test cricket is being ignored because of the increasing popularity of the T20.
"I think 20 overs game is being overplayed and we are not playing enough Test matches. But it has all become so commercial and Test cricket is not making enough money. And I think players are also happy making money from the T20," he explained.
Pollock, along with Gary Sobers, was once described by Sir Don Bradman as the "best left-handed batsman he has ever seen", and the hard-hitting South African said that it was nothing less than an honour to be complimented by the legend himself.
"It was incredible. You do not expect him to say such a thing when he was himself the greatest batsman in the world. I am honoured that he said that."
Admitting that he could have had an extremely successful international cricketing career had South Africa not being banned from playing cricket because of apartheid, Pollock said that to maintain top form over the years is a tough job.
"Cricket is a funny game and you need to maintain your performance over a period of time. But it was very unfortunate what happened," he concluded.(PTI)