March 28, 2009


Hamilton, 1st test, India’s 2nd innings, Virender Sehwag did not open the batting with Gautam Gambhir; Rahul Dravid did. The test was all but won yet Sehwag stayed back. Why?

My take is India was, for a change, thinking beyond the popular vote back home, keen to wrap a 10-wicket test win, but not lose Sehwag cheap to one of his illustrious indiscretions.

At that point, the team mgt disregarded Dravid’s terrible slump, and sent him marching to the centre – had he failed, the first innings’ fifty would’ve been diluted somewhat. Instead he got a not out, there to score some winning runs again.

Napier, 2nd test, India’s 2nd innings, Sehwag opens with Gambhir. In the 1st test, Dhoni was captain, here, Sehwag is skipper.

Had Dravid opened here, it would be after scores of 66, 8*(first test) and 83 (2nd test, 1st innings)

Compare this to Sehwag’s 24 (1st test) and 34 (2nd test)

Not just that look at the time spent in the centre: Dravid -500 minutes, that’s more than 8 hours.

Compare that to Sehwag – 80 minutes.

Also factor the balls faced by the two players: Dravid – 358 deliveries

Compare that to Sehwag - 46 deliveries

However, Sehwag opened in the 2nd test, 2nd innings – scored 22 of 21 balls in 42 minutes. (in this series, an average Sehwag innings lasts 40 minutes)

Dravid, now at the crease, has scored 11 of 33 balls in approx 30-40 minutes.

I believe, before a batsman walks on to the field, he does have a grasp on how exactly he feels about his batting.

With Sehwag here, it’s tough to tell. He had either negated the first innings shot totally, on a no-remorse trip, and to hell with all the Kiwis, I’m gonna blast them to bits.

Or, I am the captain, I must lead by example, if I do not open I will set a bad example.

Or, neither Kirsten nor MSD have suggested Dravid as opener, how can I?

Either way, Sehwag wasn’t feeling too good about himself.

Sehwag alone knows why he opened, seeing the mood he was in, he deserved to be in the nets, diffusing some of that nervous energy, slamming Balaji’s slower ones into the Pacific.

Finally, I think, it comes down to clout. MSD has it, and as captain he will make some unpopular decisions. Times it might even help Sehwag amongst others.

Sehwag though, is yet to learn how to manipulate his success. And maybe he’s just too nice a guy to ask Dravid to open instead of him.

Tomorrow on the 4th day, on the back of over 110 overs, you can expect the two spinners, Vettori and Patel to bowl a lion’s share of the overs.

That’s when India will miss its counter attacking trump.

Instead, he'll be branded as just another joker.


straight point said...

first of all...i am really glad now that sehwag was not made captain...

this is very interesting point you have times its better to take two step back to move ahead with clarity of thought which is clearly lacking in sehwag the way he captained and more importantly for india the way he batted in both innings...

how can he be so he already switched off from this bother about these small matters?

guess who said fatherhood has made me more responsible...

Naked Cricket said...

sp, times like this you can't tell afridi from sehwag. today i was even ready for another run-out, but gambhir always has tomorrow. to take ind into the 5th day, he's the key.

Vyom said...

Yaa sehwag's captaincy has been ordinary in the match and Dhoni magic is missing for sure.
I agree that the way Sehwag has got out in both innings was silly, but the thing is that is the way he plays.
When he comes off, he wins matches single-handedly. When he does not, he looks silly

cricketanalysisdotcom said...

Sehwag's captaincy was not so bad. If India had taken some catches in this match, and Ross Taylor had not been the luckiest man on earth, it would have been a close game. And on the road, without Dhoni, India are not that much better than New Zealand. A good result for both teams really.

Naked Cricket said...

Vyom, this test, viru struck me as not all there with the bat. he's wasting his form away. with the crappy bowling around these days, every 2nd batsman's gna have a test avg of 50.

Naked Cricket said...

CA, think Sehwag lacks intensity as a leader, few players have that charisma - sure as a batsman he has it in spades, not as skipper. MSD has it.

yeah, finally a good result, but india blew it first up, there goes 3-0.

namya said...


I still think Viru is made of sterner stuff as a captain.. irrespective of his batting.. maybe that reminds u of a SRT as a captain because he takes it too personally? If we write odes about how he whipped England chasing almost 400, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt no? People forgiving him for his 2nd innings failure are BIG saints who have played Test cricket day in day out, and should be listened to for their advice

Naked Cricket said...

hey namya,
i was just over taking in the daulatabad fort sights.

abt sehwag, as i mentioned in a previous comment, i don't doubt his batsmanship, he just doesn't have the aura of a leader. he might even have some grt plans, ideas, just doubt his ability to get the guys to play n believe in his vision.

in this test, 1st innings, they were all like loose cannons - either following in Viru's footsteps or heck knows what what

when i heard viru was captain on the first day, i got the jitters.

scorpicity said...

I completely missed this one. It could also be that Rahul wanted some practice.

Shaurya Srivastava said...

Nice post! You have made your point. I agree with your views.