Even India's winning hour was pyrrhic. Virender Sehwag began as if he meant to make the 500 needed for victory by himself, and before dusk. No one makes runs with more economy of bodily movement. To play his shots, he does not move his feet at all. Mostly, he does not have to run for them once played, and nor does any fieldsman. Prevailed upon, he will amble a single. Between balls, and overs, he leans on his bat with legs crossed, a picture of insouciance. Not even the Climate Institute knows more than him about conserving energy.
The parts of his innings were captivating, but the sum was reckless. India's mission was to survive five sessions. Sehwag's approach would have been justified only if he could sustain it, an improbable idea. He knew this; as he trudged slowly from the ground, his bat trailed behind him, like a leash without a dog. He was the captain, after all.
Image: India's Virender Sehwag bats against Australia during their cricket test match in Adelaide, Australia, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012.