It takes Virender Sehwag to score a double hundred to cement his spot for the next two series. And when he doesn’t score a double for a while, questions on consistency are asked, naturally.
Imagine then, what happens when Sehwag fails to score a triple century for a full four years. Please recall, when was that Multan triplet? Circa 2004!? Do we have any evidence he scored those runs– Mughal miniatures, for instance? And what conditions? Another desi flatbed for the flat track badshah? The quality of opposition bowling: has-beens; a mixed-up Pakistani bowling attack? Wasn’t that Saqlain’s last test match too? And why was Sehwag so attacking – wasn’t that a test? "All hand-eye coordination, no footwork, won’t come off in seaming wickets." But he did.
Anyway, it’s been four long years since Sehwag scored his last triple, not nearly good enough – when most players score 0s, 20s, 50s in tests, they continue to do so with jarring regularity. One knows, what to expect; not like a box of chocolates where you never know what you’re gonna get! Even Veeru’s Mama will agree.
Consider this fine specimen of a batsman: dedicated, well-mannered, team player, handsome, average in the mid-high 30s, adaptability to one-dayers, good fielder, prospect for tests. And at no time will he hoodwink you into thinking there’s another triple just round the corner. He will score so many 0s, 30s, 50s, you will observe a pattern – and know that he will score 57 today and 16 in the second innings. And his average, it will always hover around that marvelous 35 mark. Not to forget, he has the makings of an all-rounder too.
Coming back to Sehwag’s case: we’ll cake his face today, and serve him the airtime reserved for Yuvi and Mahi and Sachin and Saurav and other cool dudes. Which will be rightfully forwarded to them, once the one-dayers and the Twenty20 games begin. By the way, when is that? "I can’t wait to see Sachin open with Gambhir or Uthappa." "Or do you think Sehwag will open now? Sehwag, captain material?"
Yeah, let’s stay with today’s TV special: Sehwag special. Let’s speak to his bhabhi, bhanji, Ma and his local gang and barber. Let’s bring them into our homes. Let’s be one of them. Ask them probing questions, like if they’ve spoken to Veeru yet – any message for Veeru? How will they celebrate? If only he could have tasted his ma’s kheer today!
Is this all for real?
Virender Sehwag is for real. His cricket is. And has been for a lot longer than the triplets of Multan and Chennai. These are massive scores that inhabit statistical Jurassic Parks and our out-numbered minds. If these are the timeless Kohinoors, in between were Veeru’s nameless gems that had in them the range and ambition to define Indian cricket. Only, they were far from treasured. Indian cricket hungered for the doubles, triples. It failed to determine the exchange rate.
Dravid though, understood the currency of cricket and backed his man.
The graffiti was on the wall yet again: as Jammy shared with Veeru what seemed to be a personal triumph. First the double, then the triple. He was there.
Bet it was so much sweeter for Sehwag to be in such good company. Far from the duplicity and triple standards of Indian cricket.
For a moment, it appeared Sewhag would inherit Indian cricket, again. Just as it appeared Rock ‘n’ Roll would inherit the world in the '60s. Either way, it takes a believer to know what rocks. And an infidel to roll on about flat tracks and footwork.
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