March 29, 2008

Triple Standards.

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.

More on Sehwag

20 comments:

Ottayan said...

It was a triumph of mental and physical strength. Other than that it is just a statisitical wonder.

Naked Cricket said...

of the current players, who else is triple compatible? The Lankan core duo?

Straight Point said...

brilliant writeup NC!!

in this age of mortals...i really don't know when we will know/understand the true worth of this genius...

Naked Cricket said...

Cheers SP!
Already Sehwag's been manipulated for 1-2 years. Colonel claims it's the best innings he's ever watched. Watch out, Sehwag's the latest seasonal fruit. Funny, because he's evergreen. Gng Bananas.

Samir Chopra said...

NC: Sehwag has been comprehensively wasted by Indian cricket. He is an underappreciated genius. Someone should listen to him when he says he prefers tests.

Bhaskar Khaund said...

G ji , well written as usual...now sehwag leaves me , well , confounded ! as the sms's testify , this innings got me going pure bananas..i mean the guy does that to you when HE gets going.... i'll be the first to admit i'm one of the naysayers when it comes to those failures (and i do NOT count the 40's and 50's in that)...say , the string of 0-30 gigs that end somewhere around the off stump...does one persist with the man despite ?there's case for overlooking bad form / performance and keeping a guy no matter what on pure talent alone - am not convinced if there's a case for doing it in the indian team though ...for that u need to have at least 2-3 guys who , by the same token , will hold fort no matter what...and remember in tendu we already have one spot that is fixed , so one more makes that 2 places...so what happens if sehwag now gets into another string of sub 30's for the next 15 innings ? hmmmmm......... , damn , this guys really leaves me confounded -but thats sehwag !

Naked Cricket said...

Samir- flawed genius; stood up to GC and other MCs too. Like to read an uncensored a/c on indian cricket by Sehwag, Dravid.

Naked Cricket said...

Bji, Funny you should bring that bit about low scores; really thought SAF would wanna have a crack at Sehwag in the 2nd innings n get him out cheap. Know Oz n even Eng would have, what, even West Zone would have!

About the low scores, I'd say, this bloke has the worst PR on earth - his zeroes stand out more -Like VVS'and RDs. In comparison, SRT, SRG, YS are the presses' darlings. Need to iron this out!

scorpicity said...

What a treat it was... mind blowing... though he has always had a high average in tests... over 50-40... it is puzzling that he can't transfer that to ODIs... this dude is one of the kind.... a sharon stone of the cricketing world perhaps :)...LOL

meraj said...

true, scorpiocity! wonder what happens to him in one days. perhaps its a 'mindset' thing for him.

Naked Cricket said...

In that case, everybody must get Stoned!

Naked Cricket said...

m - am delighted to see yr cohenesque interest in matters cricket

John said...

I am sure he's quite happy playing second fiddle to Gambhir in ODIs. as long he gets the first call when it comes to Tests.

Naked Cricket said...

John,
Watch VS and GG batting together, sense a big bro-kid bro vibe between the two. Possibly the Delhi angle; even Akash Chopra and Sehwag had a good vibe gng. Delhi aside, convinced Dravid-Sehwag have a good chemistry at the crease too. First that 400 odd 1st wkt partnership, now this one. Oh Brother!
Re: 2nd fiddle, not for long. Sehwag is an idea whose time has come, again.

Soulberry said...

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

Youv'e said it all.

Excellent write Gaurav. I didn't know you have been writing earlier as well (Sulekha). Never "bumped" into you unless you went by a different handle.

Naked Cricket said...

cheers soulberry!
this blog's from sept 05, sulekha's from aug 06, both as naked cricket; before which did post briefly as gauravdigs. What about you?

arjwiz said...

Well, I guess his place is in jeopardy for the next series then. Sehwag made 6 today.

Naked Cricket said...

Hi Arjwiz,
Right, the onus of india's collapse could be pinned on that one false shot. Expect blah like how he was the man in form, threw it away, esp since there was no SRT, and India was a batmsan shot. Rather, 7 batsman shot.

Soulberry said...

Gaurav...what do you now think of Day three second test?

I say ABD for 350+

Naked Cricket said...

soulberry, just read yr msg and day three is already dated. I was thinking 280-300 at start. One helluva aggressive declaration by SAF, quite unlike them. Also pleasantly surprsied by Dada. Btw what's yr team for Kanpur? For starters reckon they should play as a team.