Rolling back the years, the Virender Sehwag way
Virender Sehwag turned back the clock to produce a brilliant performance and guide KXIP into the finals of the IPL.
The glasses were still on, the handshakes were still going around. The yellow section in the crowd had gone silent. Sehwag on the other hand was shown in the dressing room, tying up his shoelaces and then making his way to the ground as Praveen Awana of Kings XI sent down the final ball which was duly dispatched for a six. It may have been one of the hollowest sixes MS Dhoni may have hit until now, for the game was dead and buried.
On any other day, a score of 202 in a T20 game would have put most time on the course for a win, but not Friday. Like a bottled bee, Sehwag had been threatening to tear teams apart, but all of them turned out too good to be true. But Wankhede had the pleasure of seeing one of the most attacking batsmen show all his repertoire of shots and execute them with the calmness of a butcher. The glasses may have been taken to improve his eyesight but on nights like this, one wonders whether there was any requirement for them.
Unlike last Sunday when Rajasthan Royals were left with a lump in a throat as they were beaten by the Mumbai Indians in the most dramatic of fashions, this night was much more calmer and a tactical assault. At one point, Suresh Raina threatened to waltz away with an innings of supreme genius and temperament, but a hesitant single, a pickup throw from Bailey, and suddenly CSK had conceded ground. From a score of 100-1 in 6 overs, the CSK were restricted in the end to just 202 from the allotted 20 overs and thus being comfortably short.
But lets no get lost on the breezy innings of Raina, rather it was rolling back of the years. As Devashish Fuloria points out in this article, how all teams had barely taken notice of the spectacled man and how he was not even considered a threat. There are many old adages to describe the innings, but for a fan who has seen Sehwag in his prime, it is just a wonderful moment when you seeing ageing stars steal the limelight in one of the most important matches.
Happiness is one thing you can always associate with Sehwag innings, you can always see a smile his face, be it on a zero or a hundred. The fact that he shows time and again, cricket is a game to be cherished and to not create wars. Throughout his career, he has been a straight talker and it is his way of playing as well. From his technique being challenged to his patience being questioned, he has always made people sit up and take notice in the manner he plays.
The fact that he still keeps on providing us with such genius although it has become a rarity, it still brings us enough joy to just sit back and enjoy it while it lasts, for geniuses don’t fade out, they mostly go away shining brightly.