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Sehwag epitomises new breed of Incredible Indian

Virender Sehwag the first Indian ever to score a triple century. Till yesterday, if you had done a survey, his name would hardly have been hit upon, writes Arun Lal.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2004 18:13 IST
Arun Lal

Virender Sehwag the first Indian ever to score a triple century. Till yesterday, if you had done a survey, his name would hardly have been hit upon. Blistering hundreds yes but a triple century, unfathomable.

I must say that when India was leaving for the tour of Australia, I had backed him even ahead of Ganguly to score a hundred on the tour. He has surpassed even my expectations.

He is an amazing talent, the full import of which is only now being realised. He epitomises the new breed of "The Incredible Indian". A huge talent, an astute cricketing brain and a fearlessness bordering on the ridiculous, is how I describe him.

Talent is for all to see. He comes up with some amazing shots, which leave everybody spellbound.

What his batting lacks by way of foot work, is more than made up by good sense of balance, an amazing gift of timing and terrific bat speed. That is how he generates such power in his shots.

Not one to be shackled by tradition, his upper cut over the backward point boundary or his cross court forehand past mid on, are testament to his creativity. This free flowing uninhibited style knows no bounds and I would not be surprised, if he continues to surpass expectations even after this innings.

Contrary to popular belief, I have always maintained that he has a shrewd and astute understanding of the game. This is reflected in everything he does, whether it is batting, bowling or fielding.

A product of the tough Delhi cricketing upbringing, he is one of those who have grown up playing sometimes even two matches in a day, in two different tournaments in the city.

Street smart is how I describe his bowling which is characterised by a no nonsense practical approach. He thinks hard about his batting and has very wisely learnt how to plan an innings and improve shot selection without compromising his natural game. It is reflected in his improving consistency at this level. Makes me feel that we may be seeing a future Indian captain.

Finally, the temperament is the crowning glory. He has the unique ability to play his natural game under all circumstances. There is absolutely no fear of failure. Even after failing in consecutive innings, he can come out and blaze away, flaying the most daunting of attacks.

This is fearlessness, which is alien to my generation of cricketers and one that makes my jaw drop in awe at such performances. Typified by the shot he played for six from 295 to 301. It defies comprehension.

Another unique capability is to keep a free and uncluttered mind. Even when he has assessed the opposition and planned a strategy, his overriding priority is to play to the merit of the ball. This allows no confusion to develop in his mind. Hence the free flowing style.

I fear for bowlers the world over as this innings is going to add to a sense of belief described above and has a very ominous feel to it. I suspect that this may only be the start of one of the most exciting careers in contemporary cricket.

First Published: Mar 30, 2004 00:13 IST