Irrespective of success or failures, the tough grind of international cricket had helped Virender Sehwag to remain nonchalant over the years, but his childhood coach A N Sharma admitted that he used to get "hurt" by the critical remarks about his favourite student.
Sehwag today smashed a run-a-ball 117 against England, breaking a two-year century drought in Test cricket.
"This is a special knock and I hope that it silences all those who were sceptical about Viru's ability to play big knocks at the international stage. This is a fitting answer to all those barbs aimed at him. Muuh se naahin balle se jawab diya hai usne (he has let his bat do the talking)," an ecstatic Sharma told PTI today.
The man who has helped a young Sehwag hone his skills to become a top quality international player, admitted that criticism "hurt" him more than his ward.
"Viru is a man of different quality. I would admit that if someone writes all those things about my favourite student, I would certainly get hurt but he remained unfazed and would tell me not to bother about all these things," the veteran coach remarked.
But all said and done, wasn't two years a very long wait for his 23rd Test hundred, Sharma was quick to retort, "Name one player who did well against England and Australia consistently during those eight Test matches that we lost? Just because he (Sehwag) is an attacking batsman, the focus is more on his failures."
Did he speak on any technical issues with Sehwag before the start of the series, the coach answered, "When someone plays 99 Tests, there must be something right about him. When I spoke before he left for Mumbai (camp), I just told him to try and bat for as long as possible because no bowler will then be able to stop him from playing his strokes."