sehwag-the Pied Piper


I just love to try out weird stuffs, for I berate the things done in an old-fashioned way. Eccentricity somehow fuels me. The dare to be different carves out the *me* in me. I do not believe in dour-machine like professionalism.

Well, you can just go on with this. But the hardest part is proving it, not just believing it. The game is not over until the actions are made to do the talking. So how do you react when you see someone who has done and is doing exactly that, for not a day or two but for almost a decade. SALUTE!!!

I am talking about D-man from Delhi- Virender Sehwag!!!!!

Image Courtesy: Google Images



Easily the most destructive opener the cricketing world has seen, he has defied all the laws in striking a cricket ball; his style cannot be part of any coaching manual. I would love to see a debate on “Do all the Sehwags actually need a coaching”? Why waste time on this. It’s a straight forward *NO*.

This piece has been in the drafts for quite a long time. I was patiently waiting for the right time to publish it, like a desert traveller waiting for oasis.   And now, the patience seems to have  bore fruits. What a time it is, as he carved out  yet another master piece. A Himalayan knock of  219 at the outdoors of  Indore , surpassing his role model in the process. An innings of touch and arrogance, it was a ruthless assault on the toothless Carribean attack. The delight of finding gaps which is the soul of his batting, was at its immaculate best. The way the balls caressed his willow will be one for the romantics to comment. The elegant square cuts that saw the balls go packing to the ropes was just poetry in motion.

But it wasn’t always like that. Wasn’t it. Critics had doubts in plenty. Can this one-day basher excel in test matches? His feet don’t move. He lacks technique. He is bound to struggle against the moving ball. He is a one dimensional cricketer. He doesn’t have the commitment and technique to stay longer. His perform or perish theory is bullshit. These are all what they had to say. But destiny had some other plans.

Gone were his early days in the so called ‘badlands’ of Najafgarh in Delhi amidst the shepherds and snake charmers. Around him was the gritty world, the tougher world from where he dreamt of being a Sachin Tendulkar. It was in the farmlands where he practiced the art of pounding a cricket ball. The Upper Cut, the slice, the slog sweep, the inside-out chip were all the redefined versions that he scripted. From there to the thick of things in Indian cricket, the journey has been quite a fascinating one.

A century against South Africa on debut to mark his arrival in the test arena, two breathtaking triple tons against the likes of Akhtar, Steyn and Morkel, a knock of 80 that went in vain in the world cup final of 2003, few double tons, a belligerent 195 on the opening day of Boxing day test at MCG, match saving knock of 151 against the Aussies, fastest century in only 60 balls by an Indian and now, the Indore incendiary. Add to it the famous King Pair at Birmingham, some complacent running, a shoulder which continues to be under the surgeon’s knife, sacking from the national side only because the selectors believed that he could not strike a cricket ball as good as a Wasim Jaffer or a Dinesh Karthik.

Sehwag’s approach to batting is as simple as an IIT aspirant from Kota. To go for the kill always. Be it Perth or Durban, be it against Steyn or Akhtar, be it he is on 99 or 199 or even 299. The carefree approach of not getting booed down by the situation testifies the man.

So, what is it in a Sehwag innings. Its not about his role model Sachin who tries to find a balance and later go on a brutal assault. Its not about the perfect execution  of a coaching manual that Rahul Dravid beautifully presents. Its not about the lazy elegance of a VVS Laxman that quietly makes one to feel as if he were in a Ghazal. Its all about thrill-a-minute roller-coaster ride; a 100m dash that keeps your adrenalin pumping; a Russel Peters show that you cannot miss. Its all about emphasizing on the revised theory-“ Cricket must be played to delight, to entertain, to win and not plodding, blocking and playing out a tame ‘Draw’ “. Its about mocking the basics of a sport. Its about that accolade- ‘I am-once-in-a-lifetime-cricketer’.

He is an assertion that we have moved on; from the Boycott era, from the Gavaskar era( yes the days when fans were entertained by the 36* off 174 balls) to the speed driven generation. He changed the perception of opening batsmanship, from just taking the shine off the ball to literally murdering the balls to the boundaries.

He never drags us like a Dravid or a Lara in the fight in a crisis. His willow may disdainfully tell the opposition bowlers to ‘get-lost’ but always finds one among them to share his laughter. You may be a Sachin fan, a Ganguly fan, a Dhoni fan, but Virender Sehwag will retire as the most loved cricketer to have played for India. And quite fittingly is the Pied Piper.

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10 thoughts on “sehwag-the Pied Piper

  1. dei good read! but one correction..Lara never dragged us into a fight as he was a destructive strokemaker. A better example would ve been steve waugh or kallis!

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  2. yeah,there is no doubt about that. Some of Lara's gritty knocks especially the ones with the tail sometimes give you an impression that he drags us into the fight. We get a feel that he fights… Anyway, i should've included steve waugh!!! thanx for the correction mr. Purist!!!!!

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  3. Good read. Sehwag is for those who want to enjoy the game irrespective of who wins. Not for people who always want India to win.
    When he bats, enjoy. After he gets out just go and do your normal work. Don't analyse the match.

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