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Friday, August 06, 2010

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The Cricket Couch

David: Wrote a piece on the genius of Sehwag. http://thecricketcouch.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/sehwag-the-inimitable-genius/

A modified version up at WorldCricketWatch as well.

All hail Viru!

Rich Abbott

Sehwag is clearly on a great run, and it's nice that he scores at such a ridiculously fast rate - but that's not essential in Test match cricket. You rightly doubt that Alastair Cook will learn from him, but does he really need to? I'd be happy with the Cook we saw in South Africa (well, Durban and Cape Town) - watchful, cautious, seeing off the new ball and giving his batting teammates a platform. I actually like that he scores his runs at a strikerate of under 50, but then again I am quite old fashioned...

The Reverse Sweep

I'm a bit old-fashioned too Rich! I was probably being a bit disingenuous to Cook. I don't have a problem with his strike rate either - he is never going to be a Sehwag! I am abit worried about his falliability around off-stump and his poor record against the Aussies though. But other than putting Trott up to open there doesn't seem many alternatives, so hopefully Cooky can get things right in the remaining three tests

Mahek

Not essential in test match cricket? Wonder if you noticed Australia's domination for over a decade during which their batsmen just wouldn't take their foot off the accelerator. Sure they had a world class bowling attack, but do you really think they could've pulled off the heists they did against Pakistan at Hobart and against England at Adelaide if they didn't have batsmen scoring at a healthy strike rate?

SportsScientist

Guys,

Trying to offer a slightly different perspective here - don't just murder me for it. Like most here, I love to watch Viru bat and that is perhaps the only compelling reason to watch a test match featuring India (unless the match is in its concluding stages with a result certain)

Claims to Sehwag's greatness and bracketing him with the finest bats of today and yester-years is a bit premature though. In Test cricket, Sehwag averages 26 in SA, 39 in England and 20 in NZ. He has good numbers in Australia but hasn't faced McGrath, Fleming and Warne as a hunting pack there. Otherwise, his overall numbers against McGrath show an average of 8.75 (All stats courtesy cricinfo StatsGuru)

Sehwag deserves credit and plaudits for re-defining opening and has brought immense value to the team via his ultra-aggressive approach esp. on sub-continental tracks. I personally believe he has enough talent to produce more innings of quality in demanding conditions (esp. pace and swing) as well but till then I'd hold bestowing greatness upon him...

Mahek

I agree with you on Sehwag not having a great record in South Africa, England or New Zealand. But he did score a hundred on debut in South Africa and it wasn't against a pop-gun attack.

He's played only one series in England and it was the first time he opened the innings. He scored 80-odd in his very first innings as an opener and a hundred in the second test of the series.

He has a mediocre record in New Zealand but is there a player who doesn't have a bad record in a particular country? Would you count Ponting as just a good batsman because he's struggled in the subcontinent? Ofcourse it doesn't get shown up because he's played only 16 tests in that region in the past decade. And these are supposedly the most batting-friendly conditions in world cricket.

Sehwag has faced McGrath and Warne in India and not done his reputation any harm. Say, when was the last time Ponting faced up to those two?

Mahek

That said, the one thing you can hold against Sehwag is his record in second innings. It's got a bit better since his comeback in 2008 but it's nowhere near as good as his numbers in the first innings.

Brain Washer

Interesting article and conversation. Let me throw another point into the discussion. Looking at his batting style, you'd think that he would do better in one-dayers and T20s than in tests. But why does he have a much better record in tests than in the shorter formats?

http://www.squidoo.com/virender-sehwag

The Reverse Sweep

Good point Brain Washer, although I see his ODI form was pretty good in the Sri Lanka Triangular Series. It is one off cricket's great mysteries, I suppose

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