New Delhi, Aug 29: India's dashing opener Virender Sehwag, having represented the country in 97 Tests, revealed that he is still nervous to face the first ball and has butterflies in his stomach.
Sehwag considered to be a dangerous player as bowlers fear the batsman, feels he is nervous to face the first ball of the innings, but never shows it to the bowler.
Sehwag is quick enough to defend himself as he said the batsman has to send a message to the bowlers whether he attacks or defends and that constitutes to the mental strength.
"Every time when I go to the crease and prepare to face the first ball, I am nervous and there are butterflies in my tummy. I never show it because if the bowler senses it, hell come hard at me and try to put me under pressure", Sehwag said.
"I have to send across a message to the bowler, I am here to face you with a lot of aggression and confidence, whether I play a defensive shot or an attacking one", he said.
A person who has scored 8225 Test runs off 97 matches which include 32 fifties and 22 centuries at an average of 50.77 would not have reached that level if he had not believed in his abilities.
Stating that, Sehwag added that its all about mental strength, If a person is mentally tough, that's enough to take a player to any level.
"I think its 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 Delhi opener said.
When asked about the game plan and his strategies before starting his innings, Sehwag said he would give more importance to the wicket, bowling attack, conditions and then plan his game.
"Now I am 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.
"Having said that, if somebody bowls a half-volley on a green top, I'll still go after it and Ill still play my square cuts if the ball is pitched short outside the off-stump.
"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 said.
But still facing the first ball is quite a difficult task for Sehwag, as he feels nervous but doesn't show it to the opponents.