At the peak of his powers, it was impossible to match Virender Sehwag shot for shot or outscore him. Many at the nonstriker’s end have described their shock and awe over the array of shots played by Sehwag.
On Monday, in Kings XI Punjab’s match against Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozeshah Kotla, something different happened; and it is possible Sehwag for a few moments thought he was looking into a mirror. Young Manan Vohra took a leaf out of Viru’s book and tore apart the opposition bowling, with Sehwag watching from non-striker’s end.
Vohra’s 19-ball 42, including three sixes, laid the foundation for another successful chase by Punjab. He dominated the opening stand of 67, off just 6 overs, with Sehwag contributing just 16 runs.
The way Punjab have played this season, no total has looked beyond their reach and no opposition has found a way to contain them. The Punjab player, a former India U-19 batsman, did something similar to Dale Steyn on May 14. Pulling a fast bowler of Steyn’s calibre for a maximum says a lot about a 20-year-old’s talent and confidence. Vohra, along with a host of other domestic players in the squad, have not disappointed.
This also shows there is more to Punjab’s success story than Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. KXIP have found domestic players who have raised their game. Like Vohra, spinner Shivam Sharma, all-rounder Rishi Dhawan, medium pacer Sandeep Sharma --- currently the third highest wicket taker in IPL 7 --- and all-rounder Akshar Patel have all put in matchwinning performances.
It’s on this front that defending champions Mumbai Indians have faltered. Little has worked for them apart from some individual acts of brilliance.