“No power of genius has ever yet had the smallest success in explaining existence. The perfect enigma remains.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you look at Virender Sehwag’s profile and his averages as a batsman, there are plenty of other players who have more runs, more hundreds than Sehwag has, yet Sehwag is unique for the double and triple hundreds that he has scored and at the strike rate that he goes on scoring.
He is known to be a raw talent whose footwork and his hand-eye coordination has been discussed by many commentators which they describe it as the least appealing characteristics of his stroke making, yet his strokes with the blunt wooden brush that he uses by standing still on the green canvas and makes the strokes flow like a maestro playing flute. The way he flashes his bat at the speed of light causes thunder and lightening and the crowd starts roaring. Sehwag, Sehwag, Sehwag.
When he started opening for India alongside Tendulkar, as usual the media started comparing him with that genius by saying he is another Tendulkar in the making. Like some people say it may be “half true.” But, Sehwag is original as Tendulkar is and when it comes to power he is way ahead of Tendulkar.
He is seldom afraid of reaching milestones, au contraire to Tendulkar who gets stuck before reaching a milestone, Sehwag crosses them with ease like some great men say: “we will cross the bridge when we will come to the bridge.” In fact he burn the bridges after crossing them.
The first time I saw Sehwag with some attention was, when he opened the innings with Tendulkar in South Africa during the ICC World Cup and within the first 6 overs the pair produced a 50 partnership and Sehwag was the dominant force and that was not the reason to remember him.
It was then Wasim Akram and Waqar Younus were playing along with Shoaib Akhtar and they all were whacked and Sehwaged for sixes and fours. It was then, I said to some of my friends that this stocky built unassuming character is going to pose more problems for Pakistan than any other player.
He scored his first 300 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004 and his fans started calling him “The Sultan of Multan.” Whereas, the real Sultan of Multan was on the receiving end in that match. Again in 2007 he scored 250 odd in Lahore. And, he is the only player from the sub-continent to score a triple hundred twice.
And the second triple hundred he scored was in Chennai against South Africa, his highest score 319. It is known to be the fastest triple hundred, only in 278 balls. Recently against Sri Lanka he came so close to create a world record of scoring three triple hundreds and was out on 293, once again the strike rate was amazing, he made those 293 in about 240 odd balls.
I don’t see any other Indian batsman besides Tendulkar and Dravid who is maintaining anaverage of 50 plus in test cricket, perhaps there are a few like Gambhir or even Gavaskar. But, Sehwag’s aggressiveness and strike rate cannot be matched for such long and sustainable period of time and that makes him a unique player.
He is a crowd puller and an entertainer he shapes his shots on the anvil of emotions with such power and ferocity that even the most fearsome of bowlers are afraid to bowl at him when he is on song. It is then they sing together The Sound of Music. “What can you do with a problem like, Veru”?
Now that Sehwag shall be leading the Indian team for the next two ODI’s against Sri Lanka in the absence of Dhoni, let us see if he takes the burden of captaincy on his shoulders or releases the pressure with ease as he always does? He needs to prove that Dhoni was missed for his ‘keeping’ but, not in stopping Sehwag from scoring. Go Sehwag go.