In an earlier post, I’d linked to a Chandrahas Choudhury article that offered a rare peak into the workings of the batsman’s mind. Now, courtesy Suresh Menon and Tehelka, an anecdote guaranteed to make you wonder, the next time Viru hits a ball out of the park:
What kind of man is this innocent assassin who has elevated batting, and thinking, to a level of such simplicity? The story that captures him best has been told often enough, but it bears repetition here. England batsman Jeremy Snape pointed out in a match where they were batting together that he was having a problem with the reverse swing. Perhaps it was the ball that was aiding it? Don’t worry, Sehwag told him, I will hit this ball out of the stadium and then they will have to find another ball. And he proceeded to do exactly that. The replacement didn’t swing as much.
This was not arrogance so much as a desire to help out a colleague. It is entirely possible that if Snape didn’t have a problem, Sehwag might have merely pushed the ball for a single. Or not. After all, unpredictability is the cornerstone of his batting. As soon as the bowler thinks he has figured out Sehwag, he does something so unexpected that it is back to the drawing board again. Sehwag only needs to hear the sound the bat makes when it meets the ball to know he is on track. When he is going well it is a treat to the ears as well as to the eyes.