Sehwag is a phenomenon of his own kind. There was none and there will be none. When he stepped onto the scene comparisons were often drawn between him and the God. He sometimes plays shots similar to Sachin and has still maintained that brazenness and rebellious streak of the Sachin we saw in 90s; but I think the similarities end at that.
Sehwag’s brains work differently – rather abnormally from those of most cricketers. Would you and I who have just about got to playing gully cricket or maybe school or college level cricket , and approaching our personal milestone even in those inconsequential matches; ever think of hitting a six to get to it? I don’t think so and that sets him apart. From the time he has hit the scene, he has kept it simple – if the ball is there to be hit, I will hit it. Let’s keep it that. So whether he is on 99 or 199 or 299 and tomorrow, hopefully he will be on 399 gunning for Lara’s record, it will still not matter to him.
He is one cricketer who has managed to get most fans to be awe-struck and frustrated at the same time. When he is on song there is none other batsman we want to see – heck he even had our attention stolen on his debut in 2001 against SA when the maestro was batting with him on the other end. In that partnership of 220 for the 5th wicket with Sachin, we often felt that we were watching the same guy bat at both ends- only the scoreboard seemed to change the name.
Sehwag is not consistent. Halt before you start gunning me for this. When Sachin and Dravid are on the team, you will get what I mean. You are pretty sure that one of them will get a century in a series, you can’t say the same for this mad man. It’s almost upto him to decide that. He will show some short genius spurts and then get out in the most stupid manner; then he will comeback and turn the pitch into a slaughter house making you feel really sorry for the opposition. Yeah only he can bring that feeling into you, in fact I think he must also be feeling sorry for the condescending attitude he shows to the opposition when he is on a song. Sorry symphony is not what you associate with this man – you associate only murder.
He sets up the match for India every time he decides to go berserk. His innings need not result in a century every time but he ensures that the match has turned in India’s favour and it leaves little for his team-mates to do to seal the win. His innings has not only demoralized the opposition but has also ensured enough inspiration for his team to follow his suit.
If he gets going he gets going big. Of his 17 100s – 12 are over 150 of which 6 are over 200 and of which 2 are triple hundreds and he is on the verge of becoming the first test player ever in the history of the game to crack 3 triple hundreds! None of India’s best batsmen – Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid boast of such huge scores. No I’m not comparing them – I’m just trying to make a point that this man too deserves his place which is unique in Indian Cricket’s hall of fame.
He might’ve got the total runs a grand or two less than he would’ve had he played himself in but that is not Sehwag and then there is no fun watching him. We have the Dravids, Laxmans, Gambhirs and Tendulkars take care of the consistency aspect, let Sehwag just be himself. He did play himself in after an unsteady start in the last match and see what resulted. Gambhir is a great influence on him, they play together in the Delhi team which has helped their rapport immensely at the international level. On Gambhir – the new wall of Indian cricket in another post.
Let Sehwag be the mad-man don’t ask him to change his game-plan. It will not work in 4 innings but it will work in the 5th and that should be enough for us. He does not move his feet, damn it not even when he hits those cover drives or those sixes with a straight bat and leaves me with a WTF expression in my mouth and on my face. So let him continue to do that till he decides to hang his boots. He will never get an expression like what a beauty or what timing or what a delight from us – all that we will keep saying is WTF! Yeah that’s the only expression that can describe this Mad-Man of Indian Cricket. So just let him be.
For there will be none again like him and we will keep reminding ourselves how god damn lucky we are to have had the bloody privilege to witness this Brutal Murderer – A Murderer we are so damn proud of!