Sehwag-Please make a comeback!!
How great a cricketer may be, he changes his style and manner of batting depending on his position in the batting line-up. But, Virendra Sehwag is the only one who redefined not the style of batting but the position of batting, i.e, opener. And that is his greatness. “His ability to use skills seemingly made for ODIs in the long game, and his instinct and fearlessness make him one of cricket’s most compelling sights”, honor by former Indian Cricket coach John Wright to Sehwag. Not only John Wright, every one who follows cricket not closely, but on a fairer note, knows about the aggression and dynamic attitude of this Dashing Opener.
A spectator generally does not get to know if Sehwag, during his batting, analyses the situation of the team or cares about the opposition’s bowling line-up or at least understands the type of delivery bowled to him! The only thing Sehwag knows is run. Either he has to run or the ball hit by him. And, in doing this, he either sends the ball bowled to him home (boundary) or he himself comes home (pavilion). If he gets adapted to the situations surrounding him, he becomes a night mare to the opposition bowlers, otherwise he becomes a prey to them. And, other than this thing, he behaves like as if he does not know anything about planning or strategies to make runs in the field.
How experienced a cricketer may be, even our god Sachin Tendulkar, once he reaches nervous nineties, he slows down his pace of batting and tries to complete his century. In fact, that is quite common in cricket, except for Sehwag. Completing the first ever triple century hit by an Indian cricketer with a massive six of note worthy Pakistani spinner Saqlain Musthaq- should this be called obstinacy or bravery? Going for a boundary on the prestigious moment of breaking the world record of his guru, Sachin Tendulkar (double hundred in ODI history) – should this be called inadvertent or intrepid?
Sehwag was once playing for Leicestershire in County cricket. In the opposition team was Pakistani all rounder Abdul Razzaq. He had started using his weapon, the thing which Pakistani pacers are famous for, reverse swing. And Sehwag’s partner started trembling owing to the swing. To overcome this situation, Sehwag made a strategy. That is, he sent the next ball to a six hitting it out of the ground. And the umpires had to take a new ball. Sehwag told his partner that there would be no problem of reverse swing for next one hour, stay cool and play freely.
And that is why, Sehwag was regarded as genius by persons like John Wright and at the same time it seemed to be like foolishness for former cricketers like Jef Boycott. But such comments never showed any impact on Sehwag. The audacity of Sehwag’s strokeplay is his inbuilt character. It sometimes dismantled the opposition bowling attack and sometimes ended in failure too. But, that attitude of him has now become a threat to his career.
Truthfully speaking, Sehwag’s character on field is a blend of Viv Richard’s carnage, David Grower’s artistry, Gundappa Vishwanath’s performance or gesture and Sachin Tendulkar’s expertise. And, there is no exaggeration in saying that Sehwag is the only one in the contemporary cricket world, who never cared about the strength of the bowling attacks he had to face.
No cricketer wishes to get out in a similar fashion all the time. He tries to rectify his mistakes and overcomes his dearths. But, Sehwag’s style is completely different. In most of the cases, he gets out in both the innings of a test match in an identical way. Not that I am complaining here, but I would like to say about his attitude of never considering about any adjustments and amendments. And, this was the main reason people like Greg Chapell considered him as stupid and obstinate person. But, most of Sehwag’s magnificent innings have come in the above mentioned manner. And the spectators too were rejoiced by his strokeplay. As long he was the in the ripe old age, the things went correct. But, no sooner did his age cross thirty plus than the problems began. He is 36 now. There obviously comes a change in his body parts movements and their coordination. The things may not work for him if he still wants to play in the same way as he used to do in his young age. He, undoubtedly has to make some corrections now. Even Sachin surrendered himself to the age factor and gave up some of his shots and changed his batting style too. Now, the only prime responsibility of Sehwag is to keep himself fit mentally and physically.
No fan who got thrilled on watching Sehwag bat through out his career would like him to retire in this manner. Even those bowlers who were a victim of his heroics in the past would not like it. Even, Sehwag would not like to call his stumps in this way. He just have to prove himself in First class cricket. Few good innings can get him a call from the selectors. But, this time, may not be as an opener but as a middle order batsman. His experience would be an asset to the team in facing the second new ball in a Test innings. However, he started his career as a middle order batsman and now he may end his career too in the same position. There is nothing wrong in it. Fans like me owe you a debt of gratitude.
Dear Sehwag, please remember that you were the main reason behind the extinction of mystery from Ajantha Mendis‘s bowling when entire cricket world was being scattered by his Carrom ball. Do not forget your gutsiest triple hundred on nightmarish Multan pitch facing a fearful bowling attack. Remember your heroics in a match against Sri Lanka where you scored 201 runs out of team’s entire score of 329. Recollect the moments when you dismembered the South African bowling attack to score 257 runs in a single day of a test match. Remember your attitude and confidence in your answer of “Agle baar dekhlenge”, when media asked about your feeling when you missed a triple hundred by less than 10 runs against Sri Lanka. You are the first among those present day cricketers who can hit fours and sixes fluently and promptly. Hitting a century for you is as simple as drawing money from an ATM. Recollect all these moments and please make a comeback.