When Virender Sehwag bats, bowlers go to pieces. It’s a good approach.
Viv Richards used to do something similar. He’d blaze away when he first came in and then when the field went back, he’d change his approach. The fielding side were on the back foot, he’d got his eye in, danger was minimised, now he could accumulate.
Virender Sehwag does the same, only he rarely changes his approach when the fielders go back. He just blazes on and on. He has a stomach-churning ability to sustain an assault which is unparalleled in the history of cricket. Sehwag can hit 300 at quicker than a run a ball. Sehwag can hit a double hundred at the same pace when only two team mates can get into double figures. It’s unbelievable.
It’s partly because he’s supremely talented. It’s also because Sehwag makes most bowlers crap their pants and it’s difficult to ‘hit the right areas’ when you’re aware that you’ve smeared.
The question is, does Sehwag know that this is what he’s doing? Does he know that he’s inflicting his will on the bowler and making life easier for himself?
At one point this morning (on his way to a 68-ball 83 out of the 117 runs that had been scored when he was out), he carved yet another short ball backward of square. He played it in the air, even though there was an ever-increasing number of fielders in that area. It went over third-man’s head for six.
Was that the shot of a man who knows that such a stroke will earn him a load of bad balls from bowlers who will lose their composure? Was it a calculated risk to make life easier for himself?
Our thoughts are no. We reckon he just thinks ‘I can hit this for six’.