The most memorable moment from Virender Sehwag's sensational innings against the Deccan Chargers was not the sixes he hit out of the ground or the sliced shots through point. The lasting image etched in memory is the time, late in his innings, when he squeezed two boundaries off a Dale Steyn over, and then punched the air with a clenched fist in celebration.
Scoring runs at a furious pace is par for Sehwag, but public display of emotion is unusual. Like MS Dhoni, Sehwag is supremely serene and composed — he never lowers his guard at the crease irrespective of the turbulence inside.
In some ways, the Hyderabad knock was typical Sehwag - audacious, inventive and brutally aggressive. Bad balls got the full treatment, and even good ones were deposited into the stands. Such was his fury, and so effortless the swing of his bat, that Sehwag resembled a gifted golfer striking the ball with a driver.
Looked at from another angle, this innings was different. Initially, as Steyn and Ishant Sharma came on hard, he decided to see the fiery spell through, letting the asking rate climb to an alarming 12. But later, when the opportunity arrived, he shifted gears to go into overdrive and attacked the hapless bowlers.
This was no aimless assault but a clever, calculated assault. The sensational innings was a special effort from a top player at the top of his game. Not a shot was mis-timed, and only a few found a fielder.
Asked to comment on Sehwag, teammate James Hopes was at a loss of words. "I am speechless," he admitted, and as an afterthought, added, "It was truly awesome." That it was, and more.
(The author is CEO of the Delhi Daredevils)