Sachin Tendulkar revealed that to form a formidable partnership with Virender Sehwag, he had to break through the latter’s shyness first. Tendulkar said on Youtube web series What the Duck, that Sehwag never used to talk to him initially when he joined the Indian team. “I remember when Viru first joined the team, he would not talk to me. Then I thought this can’t work, we need to talk to each other and if we are batting together I need to make him comfortable,” he said.
“So I told him let’s go get have some food. Before going, I asked him what he liked. He said ‘Paaji, I am a vegetarian’. When I asked why, he revealed that he had been told at home that eating chicken makes you fat,” said Tendulkar. Sehwag had made his debut in an ODI against Pakistan in 1999, by which time Tendulkar’s status as one of the best batsmen in the world was already established. Sehwag said that he was in awe of Sachin and used to worship him before joining the Indian team. “When I first met him, he just shook my hand and moved on. I thought to myself that I idolise this person and he just shook my hand and walked away,” he said.
“But later when I was a senior and met new players, I did the same, then I realised you cannot get close to a person before knowing him. I was very shy when I first joined the team.”
Sehwag and Tendulkar ended up forming one of the defining batting partnerships in Indian cricket in the noughties, raking up 3919 runs in the 93 ODI innings that they played together. They are the third most prolific ODI partnerships in the history of cricket.