I loved his play through the off-side and tried to copy a lot of his stuff – Paul Stirling on Virender Sehwag

Paul Stirling loved watching Sehwag's batting | Getty Images

Ireland batter Paul Stirling has revealed that India’s Virender Sehwag and Australia’s Damien Martyn are his two favorite batters whom he idolizes since his formative years.

Stirling, who has so far played 134 ODIs, 3 Tests and 86 T20Is and scored 4982, 104 and 2401 runs respectively for Ireland, said he loved watching Sehwag and Martyn’s batting and even tried to copy a lot of Indian legend’s stuff. He also said watching cricket at 10 wasn’t a normal thing in Belfast.

Speaking at a virtual interaction arranged by the ICC, Stirling said: “I probably had two batsmen that I loved watching, one was Damien Martyn, he was nice to look up (to), pleasant on the eye, aesthetically pleasing, someone I can never emulate and Virender Sehwag, the other one I watched. (I) loved his play through the off-side (and) tried to copy a lot of his stuff, not very well be it.”

The 31-year-old further added, “But (I) loved watching those two bat, and used to watch Test cricket at home, which was not really the normal thing to do in Belfast as a 10-year-old.”

Like Sehwag, despite the outside criticism, Sterling did not change his technique. On being asked was it a conscious effort to not change it, the Irish cricketer said: “It is something that you learn as you go on, there would be a lot more noise for Sehwag than there will be for me.”

He continued, “I just think it doesn’t, it shouldn’t affect your performance, it only affects your performance, if you actually take it in from outside, it doesn’t help in any way.”

Recalling how he fell in love with cricket, Sterling said: “Cricket was mainly the one that I probably fell in love with the most from the earliest age from about five (years old).”

The all-rounder also revealed that he was surprised to see the wickets at Sharjah having watched the Indian Premier League (IPL) games and said he will have to work hard to play both the spinners and the seamers in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

He signed off by saying, “Definitely we got to work hard against spin and in nets we got to prepare well but also keep eye on the fact that something that you have your eye on like (while) playing spin, don’t forget the seamers as well and the other factors that come into it, so there is lot of skill (needed) for seamers to be played against as well.”

Noteworthy, the T20 World Cup 2021 will be played in the UAE and Oman from 17 October with Ireland beginning the campaign against Netherlands in Abu Dhabi on 18 October.