Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara’s contrasting styles make for an interesting watch

Cheteshwar Pujara (left) has been anchoring the innings while Virender Sehwag has been entrusted with the responsibility of going for the big hits early on © IANS
Cheteshwar Pujara (left) has been anchoring the innings while Virender Sehwag has been entrusted with the responsibility of going for the big hits early on © IANS

Both, Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara have a point to prove in this IPL. And their contrasting styles in batting makes for an interesting watch as well, highlights Nishad Pai Vaidya.

Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara make a contrasting opening pair for the Kings XI Punjab at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. Not only are their styles different, but their ambitions and endeavours for the near future are distinct. On the one hand you have a veteran trying to show that there still is fire in the belly, whereas on the other, there is a youngster who is determined to shed the stereotype of being a Test specialist. Thus, it makes an interesting viewing when both bat, trying to prove their point.

Pujara is the most solid Indian batsman and his record in Test and First-Class cricket is testimony to that. In the age where T20 cricket has taken the world by storm, Pujara is a different breed who upholds the virtues of the copybook and plays classical shots. To back that, he has steely determination that helps him score big. He may not be able to score as fast as some of the other batsmen, but there is no doubting the fact that he can dominate a bowling attack. His List A average shows how consistent he is and yet, a One-Day spot has been elusive.

During the last few months, Pujara had said that he was also practicing his bowling to add value to the one-day side. That shows that he does want to don the blue jersey and perhaps sees this IPL as an opportunity. Opening the batting gives him a good chance to express himself. However, will it be good enough for T20 cricket? His pace of scoring runs may help him in One-Day Internationals (ODIs), but he may find it difficult in T20s.

Pujara seems to be at his best when he is playing natural cricket shots. He can innovate, as he said during an interview with this writer in 2012, but you expect that calming influence from him. That is where, he has done well to take a leaf from Jacques Kallis’ book. He did say, “I cannot be flamboyant like [Glenn] Maxwell or [David] Miller, but I can always be a Jacques Kallis who plays proper cricketing shots, but can still score runs at a good strike rate. This is what I am looking for.” Kallis almost won an Orange Cap once and has reinvented himself without changing his basics for the format. That is one role Pujara can play in this Punjab setup.

Moving to the other end, Sehwag has looked in decent touch during the last two innings. While Pujara is someone who will watch the ball closely and play with good measure, Sehwag will attack if he sees the ball in his zone. The hand-eye co-ordination may not be at its best at the age of 35, but Sehwag can still dazzle in the format. Whether it is good enough to help him get back into the international circuit is to be seen later, but for now he can help Punjab.

There were a couple of shots that showed that Sehwag is seeing it well. Against Kolkata Knight Riders, he smashed one over the infield into the off-side for four and later swept Sunil Narine across the line for six. But, there were times when deliveries on directed at his body troubled him. At his best, he may have flicked it with that typical wrist-work. However, his job in this IPL may be to provide those flashy starts with Pujara staying through the innings and giving it direction. They may not be expecting the big scores and may have given him the license to thrill. In the process, Sehwag may actually unleash a biggie or two. However, for real consistency with that attacking touch, Punjab would bank on David Miller and Glenn Maxwell down the order.

Punjab have shown that they are the side to beat as their batting dominated in the first three games. And when the batting failed, the bowlers rose to the occasion and defended a low score. Time for the openers to come to the party in full swing.

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here