Virender Sehwag- Master Of Unbridled Aggression
When Virender Sehwag first cut his teeth in international cricket,critics compared him to his mentor and idol Sachin Tendulkar. It was hard to differentiate between the two from a distance- same stance, same shot making and almost the same body build. But it didn’t take Sehwag too long to carve an identity of his own and today, after having spent close to 12 years in international cricket, Sehwag has turned out to be one of the most influential players of this decade: A player who has the ability to decimate the opponents single-handedly.
Batting, when performed with precision is an absolute work of art and a joy to watch. Sehwag seems to be following the distilled core of this game-See the ball, Hit the ball. It sounds weird, but in the case of Sehwag it is effective and he has proven himself right more often than not. When Sehwag is in the middle,a loo-break is totally out of question. There is so much happening in the middle that a moment of distraction might just rob you of privilege of watching an exhilirating Viru upper cut or a smashing shot down the ground. He can hammer bowlers at will. With him in the middle, a match can change hands in a span of 2-3 overs or he can just gift his wicket away with an unnecessary shot. In a nut shell, it goes without saying that when Sehwag is around, it is no less than an edge-of-the seat entertainment. The very uncertainty that Viru brings with himself makes him an absolute entertainer on the field-You never know what will happen next. He is no less than a ticking time bomb waiting to explode at the slightest hint of a cricket ball.
There is a psychological battle going on everytime Viru comes in to bat. As a bowler, you know that you have to perfect; a little bit towards the middle and he will hit you towards the square leg, too short and he will pull you over mid wicket, too full and you will be smashed down the ground and too wide on the off, you will be hit towards point. That is where Sehwag wins the battle hands down. It is indeed really hard to bowl at such a batsman-a batsman who seems to have an answer for everything that you bowl at him.Viru seems to have mastered the art of breaking through every hurdle of the opposition.
I won’t spend much time on his statistics because that is something which is there for everyone to see. Rather let’s throw some light on the batting technique of Virender Sehwag. Of late many critics have questioned Sehwag’s minimal foot work and his back and across movements have more often than not been tagged as clumsy and pretty inadequate. But a player with suspect technique can’t go on to score as many runs as Sehwag has!. There is no denial to the fact that Viru plays with a lot of risk factor in his game and more often than not, this risk factor brings about his downfall. But the real question here is “Will Sehwag be the same player sans that touch of riskiness in his game?’‘ Imagine Viru playing like Rahul Dravid or VVS Laxman-Technically sound and more risk free cricket. Would he still succeed in giving nightmares to the opposition bowlers? And more importantly would he still enjoy his game? Every player plays his own brand of cricket and should be allowed to do so. Viru loves it the risky way, so be it.
In Sehwag’s system, unbridled aggression is the key factor. He believes in pushing the opponents on the back foot from ball one. The pitch conditions, the reputation of the bowlers and the opponents don’t really matter to this man- If it is there to be hit, he will hit it. This makes him a free soul-A player who can make stroke making look utterly easy on a wicket where other batsmen falter.
Sehwag has well and truly given a new dimension to the art of opening the batting. He has carried forward the legacy left behind by the likes of Sanath Jayasuriy and Mathew Hayden. His unorthodox approach might make him a suspect customer in the middle but that by no means belittles the importance this man holds in this star studded Indian batting line up. He has superb eye-hand coordination, terrific ball sense, brilliant timing and most importantly rarely looks out of control even during extreme bouts of derring-do. He has it in his mind-He knows that only thing he has to do is-”Destroy the Opponents”. The ease with which he plays comes from this clarity of mind.
Comparing Viru with the likes of Sachin, Rahul and the other technical greats of the game would indeed be a sheer waste of time. Viru plays in a league of his own. His fearless brand of cricket not only enthralls the millions of fans who watch him play but also leave his opponents awestruck.Whether Viru is the most destructive batsman ever to have played the game of cricket- well it’s for the academicians to decide but for all of us, yes he is indeed the Master of Mayhem.