The curtains are down on one of the glorious chapters of Indian cricket. What makes Viru special? He is not the textbook batsman like Rahul Dravid. Nor was he sent by God to play cricket and come back like Sachin Tendulkar. Nor was he the God of offside like Sourav Ganguly. And he didn’t have that very very special, silky touch like Laxman. So, what made Shaun Pollock say it was not Sachin Tendulkat or Brian Lara, but Sehwag was the one he found tough bowling to? -It is his unpredictable style of batting. He always keeps his opponents guessing. Don’t bowl a good length delivery (a ball which at the most could be pushed for a single by the regular openers) at him as the first ball of the innings and expect him to do the same as others. He will whack you for a six. Ask Jason Gillespie for more details..
There was a phase in Indian cricket when Kris Srikanth used to open the innings and lived dangerously, he also had a few brilliant innings to display his hard hitting style of batting. Then came the master blaster who took it to the next level when he started opening the batting in the one-dayers. But it was a different experience for all the Indian cricket fans when this Delhi daredevil started opening the batting. His funda was simple when it came to batting. Don’t make it complicated. See the ball and hit it hard. And boy, didn’t he hit it hard. He did that tirelessly throughout his illustrious career. The cricket pundits were criticizing his footwork (or the lack of it, actually). But he was blessed with a great hand eye co-ordination. And he utilized it to the maximum. Thank God, he didn’t change his style of batting or his technique, or else we would have missed the joy of watching this maverick bat for 15 years. In the 2011 world cup, the score read 4/0 after 0.1 overs during the Indian innings during the first 5 matches. And, no prizes for guessing who started the mayhem – it was Viru.
If his ODI heroics were outstanding, then his test records were even better. If you had asked any cricket follower in the world to pick someone to beat the then highest test score by an Indian of 281 by VVS, the answer would have been anyone from Sachin to Dravid to VVS but not Sehwag. However, it was the Nawab of Najafgarh who became the first Indian to score a triple century. And just when his critics started saying that it was just a flash in the pan, Sehwag silenced them by doing it again. Two triple tons and now he was in the illustrious company of none other than the Don himself. And the way he brought up his triple hundred was even more special. Hitting the ball for a six when on 295, a typical Seh-whack style.
Virender Sehwag will be forever remembered as one of the Fabulous Five of Indian test cricket during its golden period, along with Sachin, Rahul, Sourav and VVS. And as I complete this piece, I get to know that he has scored a century for Haryana against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy. His hunger for runs will never end, whether it is Melbourne, Mumbai or Mysore. The show will go on and he will continue to entertain us in every way possible.
Here is wishing the “Nawab of najafgarh” all the very best post his International career.