Smite me oh mighty smiter! For long, I was a non-believer. I thought the back foot, anchored, as if driven into the ground would be your undoing. I thought the incoming delivery from a good length would breach your defenses like an almost molten knife through butter. I thought those with strong shoulders and the ability to clock the high 130s kph would hobble you with rib-ticklers. I was wrong!
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, but if he bowls a wide half volley hit it like it stole your donkey or ox.”
On his blog, New Zealand bowler Ian O’brien gives a first-person perspective of dealing with the most destructive batsman in world cricket today: Dark times and demons
It’s been a while since cricket saw something that took your breath away while having you drooling for more. Contests in mediocrity between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the horrendous attack that was far more than cricket, the snooze-fests between England and the West Indies. Cricket needed this.
The unleashing of the destructive force that is Virender Sehwag. There are numerous players who eviscerate bowling attacks on their day. Not Sehwag.
There is nothing approaching surgical precision about Sehwag’s batting. It is just pure unadulterated violent power and timing. The backlift seems to commence even as the bowler is completing his delivery stride. The front foot steps out of the way to let the arc of the bat describe almost a full circle. The angle of the bat is not bound by traditional encumbrances like being vertical of perfectly horizontal. It hones in on the ball at whatever angle can offer maximum violence. He doesn’t look to hit them very high, just very hard. Most of his sixes don’t seem to go too much over head height as they thunk into sightscreens, scoreboards, hastily vacated seats.
Before being dropped, his areas of scoring were between point and thirdman. Creating room from deliveries on off-stump to flay them over point. The short delivery into the ribs used to be seen as a way to keep him quiet and to get him out. It’s apparent now that he’s been working on his on-side play. In Wednesday’s innings, he was offered almost no width. I can’t recall a boundary scored behind point. He was planting his feet and launching them into the midwicket region. Short stuff was murderously pulled or hooked.
It was scary to watch. And I’m an Indian supporter!
Daniel Vettori better be sending expedited orders for “Miracle Gro” to groundsmen for the test matches. Or atleast hand out hard hats to spectators.