“Up, up and there it is! Huge six! 300 and can you believe it he got it with a six. The audacity to think about just launching one over deep mid-on… a brilliant 300. Here is the new member of the 300 club – Virendra Sehwag!”
Those lines bring to life the memories of our very own Nawab of Najafgarh. From bringing smiles to the faces of his fans to frightening the bowlers to death, we have seen this man do pretty much everything. You have to be crazy to even attempt to score a run-a-ball 196 on a pacy Melbourne wicket on the first day of a Boxing Day Test match or for that matter get to a triple century with a six.
Be it the derailing of the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ or taming of the ‘Binga Beast’, we still cherish those memories fondly. So when Brett Lee says, “No matter how good and experienced you are, he can kill your attitude”, he is not joking around.
Sehwag has always been that Tequilla shot that has made all the other spirits around look dull (no pun intended). He has been the Ducati amongst the pack.
But then the Ducati is not known for its mileage.
Sehwag is only 35 (assuming that standard age of retirement for batsmen is now 40) and has at least five years of international cricket left in him. But this time a ‘mere’ slump of form is taking too much to get off his back. His Ranji scorecard reads seven single digit scores including a duck this season. These are testing times for the ‘Sultan of Multan’ for sure but this man has seen off bigger storms. People have often wondered how this man can demolish the best of the bowling attacks without any significant foot movement and traditional defensive manouevres. Then when they couldn’t find out, they called it ‘hand-eye coordination’. Well, I call it – “Magic of Sehwag”.
The contribution of Virender Sehwag to cricket has been immense. This man changed the DNA of cricket forever.
“Players like Sehwag bring the crowd back to Test cricket” was a statement made by India’s world cup winning captain Kapil Dev. The fearlessness and ferociousness of the man still stands apart. It never really mattered who the bowler was. The only thing he had in his mind was how I can get it over the boundary. His off-side stroke play is unparalleled and few come close to his stupendous strike rate. Moreover, he has inspired an entire generation of cricketers. The aggression in the present lot has very much to do with Virender Sehwag.
True, his technique is not the best one around; true, his footwork is not that great; true, he is not the most consistent, but love him or loathe him you will still pay money to watch this guy bat. The way he rips apart bowling attacks, the way he effortlessly butchers the opposition and the way he brings smiles on our faces; certainly no one does it better. What remains to be seen is how much time will it take for “Viru- the terror” to make a comeback. This might well be the deep breath before the plunge.