Sunil Gavaskar walked down the corridor behind the commentators' box with that cheeky grin on his face and a tune on his lips at the end of the fourth day's play.
“Tu sabar toh kar mere yaar,” (Have some patience, my friend), he hummed, “zara saans to leh dildaar”, from the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. As an opening batsman Gavaskar, more than anyone else, knows the importance of a strong start in a run chase. And boy did the little man enjoy a knock that could not have been more different from something he himself would have played.
But then Virender Sehwag is such an original that he's not much like anyone who has wielded a bat at the highest level. When asked if the manner in which he played was a reflection on his personality, Sehwag only laughed. "You can say that. But I have played so many innings where I have had to change my game. In Adelaide, I batted almost a full session without scoring a boundary," said Sehwag. "Today, the demand was for aggressive shots, especially against fast bowling, and I did that."
"I was just playing my shots, my normal batting," Sehwag insisted with a straight face and when he says India are looking to be positive you have to believe him. "I was not going after any particular bowler but they were giving me room to cut. We are in a good position to win this game and we will go for a win tomorrow."
Sehwag may have done his bit, but there's still plenty of work left for the remaining batsmen. "We have to bat 90 overs. If we do that we will get the 260 runs that we need," said Sehwag. "If the fielding team attacks then runs will come easily. If they try to defend then it will be difficult for them to pick up wickets."
Sehwag did not think the pitch had become particularly spiteful but suggested that spin would pose the biggest challenge. "The wicket was good. The ball was coming onto the bat nicely against the fast bowlers. They gave me width and I just kept playing the square cut," he said. "It's difficult against the spinners if they bowl a tight line but if you back yourself you can score runs on this track."
Sehwag can score on pretty much any track, and once again he has made the lives of his batting teammates easier with a blistering salvo. Now we all just need to be a bit patient, wait 90 overs and see if Gavaskar is still smiling at the end of this game.