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Sanjay Manjrekar on Sehwag's triple hundred
Sanjay Manjrekar: Audacious Sehwag is an all-time Indian great
March 28, 2008
Sehwag's audacious approach sets him apart and we have to accept him as one of the finest
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Audacious Sehwag is an all time Indian great

What a day it has been. In conditions like this and with the pitch that you have at Chennai, Test-match cricket can be boring if batsmen chose to just get their hundreds and pile up big scores. Virender Sehwag has got a big hundred - he got a triple hundred - but he provided a lot of entertainment along with it. In fact, I thought that Test match cricket was saved because of Sehwag's approach to batting today, and that was the greatness of today's knock.

He is unbeaten on 309 and he is going to be well rested tonight, so I am going to ask you to let your imagination just run wild as to what he can do on day four. This man is audacious, as we have seen. Traditionalists get tensed when they approach milestones and get a touch apprehensive at the end of day's play. But, I think, Sehwag deliberately gets more audacious as if he wants to snub the traditionalists. That is what I love about him and that is what I have loved about him ever since I saw him for the first time. The only worry I had was that Indian cricket and Indian public would change his approach, and it's great to see that his approach has remained unchanged.

Today he was very upset when he couldn't hit a six when he went to his 300. It was Makhaya Ntini and the ball was in the slot, and you could see the frustration when he couldn't get that triple hundred with a six. That is Sehwag for you. More than the milestones, it's this endeavour that he has as a batsman to show that he is different that really gets him going and that's what sets him apart.

In conditions like this, a draw is the most likely result but the kind of performance Sehwag puts in, the runs that he gets so quickly, just gives his team an outside chance of winning a Test match. And, that is the possibility now with Sehwag's exploits here on day three.

Another striking aspect of his batting was the fitness. It's something that Greg Chappell brought to his notice the moment he took charge of Indian cricket. Sehwag was on top of his game at that time and Chappell told him to concentrate on his fitness more than anything else. After that Sehwag lost his place because of his erratic one-day form. He has come back and has given fitness due importance, and in fact today, right through the innings, he was willing to run the hard singles even at the fag end of the day. You could see that he was very keen to run between the wickets although the fours and sixes came right through the innings.

It was a terrific knock and I feel that the time has now come for India to accept Sehwag as one of the finest Indian batsmen ever. He is not quite in the league of the Dravids, and the Tendulkars, and the Gavaskars yet, but he is not far below either. So my advice to you would be to watch out for day four - Sehwag is not out 309, he likes to be audacious and he will be well rested tonight. So, anything can happen on day four. I am very excited with the prospect.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. @sanjaymanjrekar

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Posted by Bis on (March 31, 2008, 15:52 GMT)

Sehwag scores at a rate that even the Sachins, let alone the Dravids and Gavaskars, can't dream about. Sehwag has changed the nature of test match batsmanship and he can draw millions of youngsters and others into watching cricket as an exciting spectacle. One interesting point I read was that when he consulted a mental conditioning coach last time he made a triple century against Pakistan - this time against SA. He needs the kind of mental conditioning which reassures him that he has what it takes and not to worry too much - beware Gary Kirsten of messing with his head! Sehwag has the potential to be far far greater than any of the others - as long as he stays fighting fit he will be unstoppable!

Posted by Tejas on (March 30, 2008, 11:29 GMT)

I think its time for arm chair experts realize the importance of test 100s even if they do not actually result in a victory. I hope they get the common sense to realize that innings such as this one from Sehwag had actually put India into the driver's seat from a rather precarious position (India could have easily caved in chasing 540 like the rest of the batting order did actually after sehwag got out). We didn't have the cutting edge in the bowling to bowl out the opposition as it so often has happened and caused great innings played by sachin, sehwag, dravid to seemingly go in vain. So all you critics, I suggest you better not waste your time, save us, switch off your tele when the test-cricket is being aired. Wait for a week or two for the IPL, thats more your taste I guess.

Posted by Siva on (March 30, 2008, 7:05 GMT)

only two of sehwag's hundreds have resulted in indian wins. though there are 10 other players equally responsible for a team's fate, 2 out of 13 centuries (so far) is a horrible conversion ratio. once we see more of his knocks resulting in indian wins, he can be ranked on par with sachin and dravid. also, gavaskar had only five match winning hundreds in his kitty, but some of them from the 70s were absolute gems. right now sehwag is a notch below these champs, no doubt.

Posted by Rattan on (March 30, 2008, 4:46 GMT)

Well said Sanjay, he has done it yet again. Hats off to him. Tendulkar and Dravid are pillars of Indian team for years, but yet no triples to their name, and here's Sehwag for you with two triples, no match.

Posted by bijen on (March 29, 2008, 20:34 GMT)

yes he is the great if he didn't score 319 runs then india can't score 627 runs at an average of 4.00 look last five wickets fall for only 29 runs

Posted by KHALID on (March 29, 2008, 16:55 GMT)

it is a very boring test match despite sehwag's knock but i always believe that test match pitches should be or must be supportive

Posted by girish on (March 29, 2008, 13:43 GMT)

Sanjay, Sehwag as a player is a captains kohinoor, its not only about how he bats, but the way he carries himself , his approach to game never changes whether he scores run or not.The best way we can utilize his talent, is to through responsibility on Sehwag.The problem with us us we dont care for our stars , one or two bad knocks , people talk about youngsters , they are the future of our cricket but judge player on form rather then age.

Posted by SK on (March 29, 2008, 13:11 GMT)

why not, Sehwag is a brilliant player in india, in future he reaches 400 mark of Brain Lara record surely. Don't underestimate Sehwag.

Posted by Phani Gokul on (March 29, 2008, 12:42 GMT)

While I agree that this was a stupendous knock, nothing really has changed. Its still the same Sehwag that was criticized until last week. One should realize that just the way one good knock does not make him an alltime great, one bad series does not make him a bad player.

Posted by Amit on (March 29, 2008, 3:12 GMT)

Yes, he's not in the league of the Sachins, the Dravids, and the Gavaskars, but he is the ONLY Indian to score a triple ton, and he's got 2 of them. Opening is one of the toughest jobs in test cricket, and the way Sehwag has been successful is simply marvelous. He has always been a great test batsman, and being dropped motivated him further. A big first innings batsman, he is different from all others. I wish him the best of luck to go on and break Lara's record.

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