Does Sehwag really want to grind for his runs?
The answer looks to be a big no if his play today is any indication, writes Atul Sondhi.india Updated: May 12, 2007 17:16 IST
Virender Sehwag's knock today can be described in two phases. Twenty-two balls of discipline and two balls of madness. In between there was a big six and a dot ball.
Till the eight over of the innings started, Sehwag was as sedate as the innings warranted. Looking mostly for singles and twos. There was just one four in the first 22 balls that the beleaguered Indian opener had faced, as he laboured to his 13 runs.
Then on the 23rd ball, bowled by Syed Rasel, Sehwag saw the room, chanced his arm, and bang. A tremendous six, hit nonchalantly, which cleared the rope on the long-off boundary.
Now considering the form that Sehwag is in, discretion was the better part of valour. Haven't we seen even the likes of Hayden and Jayasuriya playing sedately when looking for a big knocks after a dry run? In any case, 19 runs from 23 balls at a strikerate of 83 is exceptional by any standards, especially by an out-of-form batsman.
However, Sehwag tried to repeat the shot and mistimed it. Luckily for him, the fielder's backward run from inside the 30-yard-circle was not good enough. Two runs.
Certainly, the situation needed discretion and Sehwag did show that. For just one ball! He tried to clobber the fourth ball of the over again. This time straight in the air. And in the hands of mid-off.
The man who completed 5000 runs in ODIs just in the previous match, should have been doubly inspired after reaching the landmark. But he failed again, as in the previous match. And against an opposition the other oppositions love to clobber!
In fact, a devastating batsman before the World Cup 2003, Sehwag has seen a decline in average after World Cup. And this decline is quite perceptible. A drop of seven per cent in average becomes critical when you see it coming down from 36.3 to 29.4
In fact, since his 150th innings, Sehwag has scored only 546 runs at an average of 27.30 with only one century. And that century had also come against lowly Bermuda!
Now it we take away that 114 run knock which flattened Bermuda, then his average comes down to 23 in his last 19 innings!
From a batsman in this form, one does expect some careful planning. But if Sehwag is indeed playing his natural game, then may be Sehwag has played his last natural knock of the series. It is tough to see him getting another chance after gifting away his wicket in such a fashion once again.