By Tim Holt
Technique and footwork are alien to Virender Sehwag’s batsmanship. While flouting these fundamentals would not have got any other cricketer anywhere, in Sehwag’s case it has not only taken him to the highest level of the game but arguably made him the most feared batsmen in modern cricket.
While the importance of technique and footwork aren’t that critical in the overs-limit form of the game its, however, extremely critical in Tests – a different ball game. But Sehwag writes his own rules and plays the game on his own terms. And what more, succeeds like no other batsman in history! To bat in such cavalier manner and come close to scoring three triple hundreds in Tests! Phew!
It seems farcical to say that he doesn't dominate ODIs when he has a strike rate of 95. For an opener, that’s exceptional figures. But after watching him disdainfully dominate Test for nearly ten years, one cannot help get the feeling that those figures are just the tip of a huge iceberg!
I remember being at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where I first got a glimpse of him. That very fine leg-spinner in Stuart MacGill was introduced into the attack and Sehwag greeted him by nonchalantly depositing him over the fence over long-off fence, some 20 rows back. This indeed wasn't the shot of a mere mortal; it evoked memories of Viv Richards, for whom it was shelling peas. It’s no coincidence that Sehwag’s shot reminded me of Richards, the most dominating batsman in the history of the World Cup.
Sehwag has it in him to dominate this World Cup the way King Viv did in the years bygone. And a Sehwag in that mood would make India truly formidable against all comers. Sehwag's brutality could see another individual double century... even a team score of 500 is a possibility. If Sehwag has any weakness, it’s against the short stuff. But that isn't a factor to contend with in ODIs. The batting-friendly tracks and the advantage of playing at home, all contribute to some heady expectations from Sehwag’s savage batting.
(Tim Holt was born in Northern Ireland in 1952. He found his love for cricket when he was sent to South Africa between 1964 and 1966. He is an unashamed cricket purist who feasts on Test cricket. His passion for the game cuts across geographical boundaries and into the domestic competitions. Tim, who has a background in journalism and teaching, has lived and worked in many places across the world)