There is a sense of delusion that accompanies those who follow Indian cricket, when they see Virender Sehwag bat. The Delhi broad-blade can still tear into bowlers and let loose his cuts, drives and pulls like he's never really understood what ‘out-of-form’ meant. And even as you bask in his ability to dominate, one thing is clear to you: Sehwag is always a moment away from an act of juvenile rashness, and that his first mistake will invariably be his last.
Such was the case, again, on Wednesday in Margao. Sehwag was moved back up the order while Robin Uthappa, with his World Cup place secured, was rested. Sehwag, out of sorts that he is, came out and tore into Ferveez Maharoof and Dilhara Fernando immediately.
Six balls into his innings, he was on 12 — all boundaries. And then, as expected, it happened, only two balls later: he was clueless against a Fernando lifter and lobbed it straight to point. Another blazing start, another tame dismissal, and not to forget — another failure for Sehwag.
But Rahul Dravid remains unfazed.
“Sehwag needs some time,” Dravid said after the match, talking of his opener's failure to convert yet another start. Let's talk about time, then. In his last 12 innings, Sehwag has crossed 20 just once.
His last ODI century was almost two years ago. By Indian standards, that's way below par. By Australian standards, Sehwag is already retired.
With less than a month to go for their first World Cup game, India clearly have a weak link in the batting line-up.
“Obviously, we'd like to have more runs from Viru,” Dravid added, saying there are no two ways about it. “I'm sure he will get those runs soon.” And we continue to wait for those runs.