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'I bowled to better batsmen than Viru'

Press Trust Of India
Mar 10, 2011 at 08:23pm IST

New Delhi: Virender Sehwag might be one of the most destructive batsman in modern day cricket, but former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding says he played against better batsmen than the India opener during his playing days.

"I think I came up against better batsmen than Sehwag ever can be. I think people like Majid Khan, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas. I have gone up against better batsman than Sehwag. Sehwag hammers the ball all around, though his technique is a bit ordinary," Holding said.

Holding said if he was bowling to Sehwag, he would never give him room outside the off-stump.

I bowled to better batsmen than Viru: Holding

Holding rates Majid Khan, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas as better batsman than Sehwag.

"He loves the ball outside his off stump. If I was to bowl at Sehwag, he would not see a ball outside his off stump unless he was sleeping and dreaming.

"You would see every ball in line with his body and that is how you've got to bowl to Sehwag. Don't give him room outside his off-stump for him to extend those arms and we'll see how he scores. I am not saying that he will not score runs at all but he certainly won't score as fluently as he is scoring now," the legendary pacer, who has 249 wickets from 60 Tests and 142 from 102 ODIs, said.

Talking about the ongoing World Cup, Holding admitted that pitches for the tournament are heavily in favour of the batsmen, but added that if one has the pace, he can be successful on any surface.

"If you have pace, you can be successful as we have seen," he was quoted as saying by pakpassion.com.

"I don't think I would have been too worried about bowling on them. I went to India in 1983. I got thirty wickets in five Test matches. If you have pace, you can be successful," Holding corroborated his claim.

About India's chances in the World Cup, he reckoned that the only way they can win the title is by chasing.

"India have fantastic batting, and I think their best chance of winning is to chase targets, not to set targets.

That's because their bowling is not the type of bowling that's going to prevent teams from getting big targets as we saw when they made 338 (against England)."

According to him, Australia and South Africa are the other teams to watch for in the tournament.

Asked about the ICC's decision to limit the number of teams from the next World Cup to 10, Holding said the game's apex body would do well to keep at least two associate members in mega event.

"I do not agree with four associate teams playing in the World Cup. I said that in 2007 but people ridiculed me. What you need to do is reward the two that go into the finals of their tournament. No more than that. But you can't take them all out as the ICC have now done for the next World Cup. I think that's ridiculous."

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