Peerless Sehwag goes on with his demolition job | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Peerless Sehwag goes on with his demolition job

“The bat is an object to defend the ball with, too.” Not the most sound of observations, certainly. What can surprise, however, is the name of the batsman who said this after the first day's play in first Test here on Thursday.

cricket Updated: Nov 04, 2010 23:00 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

“The bat is an object to defend the ball with, too.” Not the most sound of observations, certainly. What can surprise, however, is the name of the batsman who said this after the first day's play in first Test here on Thursday.

It was Virender Sehwag, after hammering a 199-ball 173. The man who hit three fours in the third over of the day said his plan was be watchful initially.

“I told myself to be patient for the first half-an-hour. I knew there wouldn't be much for spinners on a first-day wicket and decided to be cautious early on.”

The first half-an-hour, by when seven overs were completed, saw Sehwag thump six fours on way to 26 not out off 23 balls. Not too many watchful batsmen in contemporary cricket score at that clip.

This is, by no means, to suggest that he was throwing his bat at everything. Sehwag made optimum use of width outside off stump and when that was not given, he was hitting over the top.

To him, the words 'caution' and 'patience' probably don't mean what they do in the dictionary of less distinguished mortals.

“Against an inexperienced attack in good conditions for batting, focus can be a problem at times. Till tea, I was concentrating hard,” said the player who started looking restless after the break.

“That was when my knee started hurting and I started looking for quick runs.” As if he was going slow before that, reaching 100 in 111 balls with 17 fours!

There was a bit more on the surprise front. Does he keep an eye on his score while batting? “You have to. Otherwise, the scorer can make a mistake,” came the reply, with the same nonchalance that has pulverised bowlers all over the world.

It's highly unlikely that batsmen are unaware of individual scores while batting and Sehwag confirmed that he is aware of that. What continues to puzzle is the way he approaches milestones. He brought up his hundred with a four over long-off on Thursday and has in the past reached 300 with a six.

That is Virender Sehwag, who has no parallel in his generation of international cricketers.

Test cricket has seen trigger-happy openers, but hardly any of them has scored 22 centuries with an average of over 50. What's scary is, at 32, he looks good for a lot more.