After King Viv, it’s Viru all the way | cricket | Hindustan Times
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After King Viv, it’s Viru all the way

cricket Updated: Dec 09, 2009 00:25 IST
Amrit Mathur
Amrit Mathur
Hindustan Times
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At the beginning of the season, coming back from a shoulder surgery, Sehwag spent hours in the net, but could not score a run in ordinary club games and the Irani Cup.

Such failure might have worried most players, but Sehwag was completely unfazed. He has an air of calm composure about him, not surprising for a player who after Viv Richards and possibly Brian Lara is the biggest 'dada' of the modern era - a destructive batsman who has zero tolerance for bowlers, an impact player who changes the outcome of games.

Sehwag, in Tests, scores at a pace others can't match in T20, but his batting isn't just about strike rates or brutal domination - there is a rhythm, effortless ease of execution and charming simplicity. He plays straight, preferring to hit through the line than across it, though he can fetch a ball from outside off and deposit it miles over mid-wicket. To add to it, he has a smart cricket brain that supports his strong technique.

Though his style has remained largely unchanged, he has evolved over his 70 Test and 250-match ODI career. He will slash short balls through and over point, but is hesitant to pull, and wishes he could hook rising balls like Rahul Dravid. Driving on-the-up was always a strength and, of late, Sehwag has added the reverse sweep and the paddle shot to his astonishing range of shots. The footwork might be minimal but what stands out is his extraordinary balance, awesome hand-eye coordination and incredible timing.

Despite the fame and hype, Sehwag, the individual, remains firmly grounded -uncomplicated, straightforward and unafraid to speak his mind. His rising stature has not diminished his admiration for Sachin and he scoffs at any comparison with his “cricket God”.