His mindboggling success as an opener notwithstanding, swashbuckling batsman Virender Sehwag [ Images ] on Friday said he would like to bat in the middle order and will have no qualms about quitting the longer version after playing his 100th Test match.
"I have been successful as an opener, but who knows, maybe, I would have been more successful in the middle order," said Sehwag, who on Friday became the number one-ranked Test batsman.
"I still would like to bat in the middle order. It's difficult to field one-and-half days and then come out to bat in 10 minutes. When you bat at number six like (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni, it allows you some rest," said the cricketer after receiving the ESPNcricinfo Test batting award.
Sehwag, however, ideally would love to bat at number four in Test matches and is ready to wait till Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ], who has made the slot his own, retires.
"I would love to bat at number four. I know I would not get that till Sachin retires," he quipped.
"But I can wait," he added.
Talking about the longer version, Sehwag said he would have no regrets about quitting once he has played his 100th Test.
"I want to play 100 Test matches, and once I have done that I may retire from Test cricket," said the 76-Test veteran.
Looking ahead, he felt his prime would last another 3-4 years, at least.
Sehwag startled again when asked how he prepares before a particular Test.
"I have never seen a pitch before a Test match in my life. Not even when I led the side. If you see a track and find it a seaming one, you start thinking that your technique has to be correct, your feet movement has to be spot on. These are all rubbish...my philosophy is, see the ball and hit the ball," he elaborated.
On his penchant for playing risky shots to reach personal milestones, Sehwag said, "More than hitting centuries, hitting 6s and 4s gives me more pleasure. Scoring runs is more important.
"The other day I was chatting with [coach] Gary Kirsten, who said, 'Why not take singles [when approaching a century]?' I said I want to clear the ropes.
"I'm 31 and I think I'm playing well. And I would get only better in the next three-four years."
Giving an inside into his batting philosophy, the explosive opener said aggression is his strength and any conscious effort to try and become a defensive batsman would only boomerang.
"People say I take too many risks. But the fact is, there is risk involved in every shot. You can get out trying to defend a ball as well. At times people tell me to leave balls outside the off-stump. But some of them can jag back and get you out if you don't play shots. I think, if you think so much, you simply cannot bat," he said.
"In my case, it would become risky if I try to become defensive, since my technique is not that good," he explained, much to the amusement of his audience.
"I think in a different way. When I grew up, I tried to score off every ball, be it a 10-over-match, a 20-over or even a Test match. If I stay at the wicket for, say, about 30 minutes, I want to make the most of it and score maximum runs possible. You never know when you get out, try to score as much possible before that," he said.