Cricket is all about bettering yourself, match after match. Sehwag went a step ahead today and bettered himself with shot after shot on his way towards the historic knock of 219.
When I came to know that the next ODI match was at Indore and the curator is the same as the one who prepared the wicket for the Gwalior match a couple of years ago, where Sachin scored the maiden double century in ODI, I was expecting a very high scoring game. Even in dreams of dreams, nobody (let alone me) would have thought Sehwag will score a double century and that too in the run of form he is going through.
Sehwag was blunt in the press meet, saying that Gambhir, Raina and himself needed to score runs. The only thing that Sehwag did differently from his past innings was the shot selection and the increase in rotating the strike. Form is never a worry for Sehwag because all he needs is a boundary to get it back. The only thing all Indian fans and the team wanted from him was a little more patience and whenever he has had it, he ends up scoring big.
Today, Sehwag was at his best. He was hitting the ball cleanly and even more importantly, he didn’t look to hit every ball, which is the root cause for his failure. Almost after every four or six, the strike was rotated by Sehwag. His eyes were very determined today and it reminded me of the famous “Tiger eye”. During the best of best times, they say only eyes will talk and they did today in each of the 149 balls he faced. Sehwag’s eyes looked at each ball like a shooter taking aim before shooting it.
How many times did Sehwag dive to get back into the crease? How many times did Sehwag wait for bad balls to be bowled during the middle overs? Did you ever see Sehwag milking the bowlers for runs (no hard hitting, gentle push for couple of runs, nudge for single and fine tickles for boundaries behind the wicket)? Sehwag did all of this today. That’s why today he achieved the target he should have achieved sometime ago.
It required an innings like today’s from Sehwag to beat Sachin’s mammoth record. It is easy to say that someone will score 200 runs, but it requires enormous amount of temperament and patience more than hard-hitting skills. Sehwag displayed those abilities along with hard-hitting skill on a few occasions like in Multan(309), Chennai(319) and Australia(195). Sehwag would have dearly wished for Sachin to be in the stands if not with him on the field but all Indians fans never missed Sachin. They rather saw him batting in the name of Sehwag.
8 out of 10 highest individual scores in ODI have come from sub-continental pitches(the other two are Charles Coventry, 194 vs Bangladesh at Bulawayo and Sir Viv Richards, 189 vs England at Manchester). I have no doubts if Sehwag continues to show composure like today, he will get big scores in all kind of pitches.
I was speechless when Sachin scored double century and it was the same when Sehwag did that today. I don’t know how to react. I was very happy and found one way to express it by writing about this knock.
How do you guys feel the moment?
(Edited by: Prthvir Solanki)