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Tests dead? Not with Viru around

india Updated: Dec 07, 2009 20:05 IST
Kadambari Murali Wade

How do you describe a man who refuses to be described? How do you stay the dispassionate hack and not pay homage at the altar of uber cool when you watch a Sehwag innings that, again, is like no other?

How can you not cry out, gesticulate wildly, hold your breath ever so often and just laugh along in sheer, companionable exhilaration when he's out there, doing that thing he does? And how can you, me, or anyone, possibly say Test cricket is dying as long as Virender Sehwag still has cricket in him?

The real value of Sehwag's unbeaten 284 at the Brabourne on Thursday does not lie in the fact that he’s probably tied up the stats gurus for the evening or that Dhoni’s India look like they are moving inexorably towards that No. 1 Test ranking.

That’s there of course, but it really lies more in the fact that all across the cricket-playing world, there will be little groups of people, including those who predicted an early demise for cricket’s longest format, animatedly discussing a Test match.

Everywhere, people will be laying odds on whether Sehwag will sprint past Bradman (and Lara, but Bradman is Bradman) on the morrow and become the first man ever to a third triple ton in Test history or fall to his own unpredictable rhythm.

And everywhere, we will delight in telling and retelling his feats on the day and his disarmingly ruthless emasculation of international cricket’s most prolific wicket-taker, Muttiah Muralitharan.

Did we feel sorry for Murali, already struggling to come to terms with his own cricketing mortality? Perhaps: In an “O, you poor thing” kind of way, even while we danced gleefully as Sehwag lifted him over cover with seamless ease and then shamelessly begged for more.

How could we not? Sehwag on his day, after all, is an addiction, a giddy, outrageous ride that keeps us breathless, joyous, just craving for more. Friday morning is a very long night away.