Everywhere around the cricket world, in schools and gullies, in club cricket and in first class cricket – you can always find one player who is intent on hitting the cover off every ball he faces. More often than not, he will score a quick 30 or 40 before getting out. Once in a while, he may score big; but everyone would agree that he will never be as good as his team-mate, who is less flashy but more consistent.
Then there is Virender Sehwag.
When Sehwag started playing first class cricket, no doubt he would have heard countless words of advice – tighten your technique, respect the good deliveries, don’t take unnecessary risks. To his credit, Sehwag kept true to his natural game and followed a simple mantra.
See ball. Hit ball.
Some days, it would result in a catch to the keeper or slip cordon. Critics would pile on him for being irresponsible and careless. It didn’t matter to Sehwag; because most days, those same shots would get him runs. It takes a brave man to shut out the dissenting noises and just channel his incredible self belief in playing the way he does; and his records speak for themselves.
Double hundreds and triple hundreds in Test cricket; and now, a double hundred in ODIs.
Here’s what he had to say after the incredible 219 against West Indies in Indore:
“Never dreamt of it. I told Gauti if we showed a little patience we could a big one. But I was never expecting a double century. It’s a true time, you can play all your shots. When I decided I wanted to hit a six, I went and did it with a straight bat. I know people expected me to score a double-century, so thanks to them. And thanks to my family. I had said earlier that the top order was not contributing, and it was my job. Never changed my batting through this innings. I just told my self that I needed to bat through the Batting Powerplay, and I would get the double hundred. When Sammy dropped my chance, I knew God was with me. I am tired, yes, I am an old man now.”
He may be getting old, but Virender Sehwag doesn’t look like he is going to adjust his game anytime soon; and for that an entire cricket world is grateful.