Virender Sehwag is an extremely special player. He is a batsman who will fill up stadiums and enthrall crowds all over the world. His style of batting is such that even the supporters of the opponent team want him to score well even if they want the others to be dismissed cheaply. Starting off as an off-spinner who could bat, to open the innings for his country and scoring almost 9000 runs is a truly incredible achievement.
His batting philosophy is quite simple and that is why he has been able to entertain crowds for over a decade or so. He is of course now understanding that with the opposition coaches, captains and bowlers having studied his method, they have devised strategies to curb him from scoring runs. But of course on his day, nobody can stop him.
Every player that plays in a game for a decade or so, is bound to develop certain physical problems and the player who understands those problems is the one who can prolong his career even more. If Viru wants to get to play for another five years, then he has got to understand his body and make the adjustments to his game as necessary.
His approach sometimes gives the impression that he doesn’t put a price on his wicket and that is something that will always be with him. I don’t know if he ever analyses his own game, for if he does that, he will find that just about every time that he has given the first few overs to the bowler he has made the opposition pay.
That is simply because however talented a player is and whatever his range of shots maybe, in Test match cricket with the red ball it could always be that one delivery that can get you out. In limited overs cricket the white ball doesn’t move all that much, so one can play shots. But a Test match is a completely different pot of tea.
In one-day cricket his record is not as devastating as it should be, given the range of shots that he has and the license to play them from the word ‘go’ and that is because while he scores at an incredibly fast clip, he is more of a boundary hitter than a six hitter and in limited overs cricket with the fielders in deep position he is not always able to clear them and thus loses his wicket.
He gives the impression in limited overs cricket of looking to have a strike-rate of 200 which is pretty impossible and just like in Test cricket, whenever he has spent time in the middle before unfurling his shots, he has got a big score.
His bowling is often underestimated. He started his career as an off-spinner and has given his team vital breakthroughs with his bowling. Shoulder injuries in recent years have meant that he hasn’t bowled as often as he should have.
A cricketer’s worth is always known from the appreciation he gets from the dressing room and there is no question that in whichever dressing room he is in, he is the most popular player. Well done Viru and hope that you will keep your enthusiasm and continue to entertain us for a long time more.
Professional Management Group