Speed has got Virender Sehwag places. Well, speed and longevity on the crease. So while the world and its twits jaw-jaw about funny money and the Indian Premier League, the Indian opener has become the ‘Wisden Cricketer of the Year’ for the second time in a row. He was given the coveted distinction for scoring “more quickly than any specialist batsman in Tests or one-day internationals”. In 2010 when Sachin Tendulkar was picking on bowlers like boys on wanton boys, it was Sehwag with a Test score average of 70 and a strike rate of 108.9 that made the big score in the long run that spanned the year 2009. In the One-Day level, too, the Jat with the Bat has a strike rate of 136.5 with an average of 45 runs.
Lest it be forgotten, ‘Veeru’ was also the recipient of the ‘Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World’ title in 2008. If annual consistency is a benchmark, it’s Sehwag who’s got it going. The highest score made by an Indian in Test cricket
— which was also the fastest triple century (300 off 278 balls — came from his bat in 2009 against the Sri Lankans in Mumbai. And as if he and Tendulkar decided to divvy up all records, it’s Sehwag again who scored the fastest century (in 60 balls) by an Indian in an ODI in 2009 against New Zealand — scoring the seventh fastest hundred in ODI history.
The man who suffered from bad form in 2006-07 is now in the summer of his content, made gloriously warm by the blade of his bat. Wisden simply confirms what we are supposed to know but may have forgotten in the blur of a tamasha version of cricket: that Virender Sehwag was the finest cricketer of 2009-10.