Will Virender Sehwag's Absence Be The Key In England?
13 Jul 2011, 08:31 IST
Moments in time help shape and define an era…
A first ball defensive prod was the status quo. Then all our eyes went skywards as we heard the crack of the bat and the ball sail off it…and sail…and sail until it lobbed 20 rows back over the long off fence of the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground
There was a look of bemusement on the face of a masterful leg spinner Stuart McGill who obviously just passed it off as a freak occurrence. Though, a 233 ball 195 run mauling of the Aussie attack ensued in its aftermath. A new irresistible force was being announced on the World scene. That would put the fear of God into bowling attacks reminiscent of Master Blaster times.
Welcome Virender Sehwag
to you starring roles of all oppositions nightmares…
Indelibly for India was the fact that he was a man that would take a team from being very fine to bordering on great with his play. For he was such a force of nature in a role of opening that India had a craven weakness since the immortal Sunil Gavaskar
Completion for the Team came a year later when Gautam Gambhir
joining Sehwag at the top of the order. Making India into arguably the best batting line up in the history of the game.
Though amongst a constellation of Indian batting superstars, the question must be raised of whether Sehwag is its most integral part. This gains great validity when you look at India’s record in the game after Sehwag joined the team.
In Sehwag’s 86 Tests, India has won 35, lost 19 and drawn 32 showing his infinite effect on their prospects. If you want further proof, reminisce of India’s ill fated tour of Australia in 2008. In a 4 test series, they were thoroughly outplayed in the first two Tests and then stood toe to toe with the Aussies in the next two. Common thread in the series was Sehwag missing the first two and playing the the final games.
As we sit on the cusp of the mouth watering England versus India Test series with Sehwag touted probably to miss the first two Tests, we must ask whether this could be the deciding factor in the series?
For it will allow the English a way to bed into the series in the knowledge of crickets greatest devastator being on the sidelines. Also taking away the very real prospect of Viru being on and playing a series defining innings reminiscent of that 195 against Australia.
Plus it changes the dynamics of the whole line up with a dynamic opening partnership being broken and most likely the unproven Abhinav Mukund being inserted at the top. Then the middle order suffering from the absence of the benefits that Sehwags mastery of destruction provide.
Lost benefits for India that might tilt the series conclusively in England’s favour.
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