At a golf event, seated in the plush hospitality marquee, Virender Sehwag and Kapil Dev talked cricket and golf. Kapil is a golf addict with a smooth swing and a competitive attitude. Sehwag is yet to pick up the habit, afraid his family might not approve of his absence from home if he chooses to hit the course on an off day.
Kapil urged Sehwag to pick up the clubs and head for the greens. "You will make a terrific golfer", he said, "because your timing is superb, and the back-swing/bat speed and full follow-through will send the ball miles into the distance. In cricket you hit a 100-yard straight drive, in golf you will hit 300 yards off the tee".
Golf, in Kapil's opinion, helps cricketers because it increases concentration. "Focus on the ball when hitting a shot - after that switch off," he says. To seal the argument about golf's merit, his final point: "I would have scored 2000 runs more in Tests had I started golf earlier."
Golf, at least now, is not a common passion for Kapil and Sehwag but as cricket stars they share a lot. Like paaji, Sehwag is immensely gifted. They hit straight with amazing timing and both show zero tolerance for ordinary bowling.
Currently out of action due to a shoulder injury, he spends time at the NCA in Bangalore, working with the physios to get match-fit. Hopefully, he will be back on the park soon.
(The writer is CEO of Delhi Daredevils)