England v India, 4th npower Test, The Oval August 17, 2011

Wanted, the Sehwag of old

For India to have a chance of leaving England with a Test victory, they need Virender Sehwag to attack, but only after settling in
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Virender Sehwag remembers 2007, when India were touring England, taking on jellybeans and giving swing-bowling lessons. Sehwag was at home in Delhi, watching the series on television and experiencing, for the first time in his Test career, what being dropped felt like.

Of all the Indian 'galacticos' on this tour, only Sehwag may still be around when India return to England but that too would be touch and go. It would be a pity were Sehwag to leave The Oval without a trademark fireworks display because he has a unique place not just in this team but in Test history as well.

England is where Sehwag was launched as a Test opener who rewrote not just rules but entire rulebooks about the technique needed to succeed in England, the mandatory temperament required for an opener and the divine power of footwork. Sehwag brought a completely different dimension to the opener's role in Test matches and, with it, has become the most attacking Test opener in the game's history, even with the generous cut-off of at least 1000 Test runs.

Yet, on the eve of the final Test of India's anti-climactic tour of England, Sehwag is just another struggling Indian opener with a king pair to his name. Just that thought should make him slash at the first ball he faces over slips for six, except that he is a man rarely given to rage - other than in the ferocity of stroke play.

The Sehwag India need, to steady its wobbling axis, is not merely the 45-minute whirwind but the assured batsman who took away India's trepidation around opening stands, opened up matches in sessions and allowed others to play their own game. That man, however, has been missing on India's previous two tours outside the subcontinent. In New Zealand and South Africa, series separated by 20 months, Sehwag scored one fifty in 11 innings - a top score of 63 - and averaged 25.81. That is as un-Sehwag-like a performanceas were his Edbaston ducks. Instead of working his way through a cricketing convalescence after shoulder surgery, Sehwag believed he could burst out the door.

His captain MS Dhoni, however, brushed off the two failures. "If you see Virender Sehwag, irrespective of where he is playing, what the conditions are, he plays his own game. He backs himself to play shots and at times he may get out. So you may say it was one of those games where he got out."

Sehwag may well be a batsman stripped down to David Gower's essentials of see-ball-hit-ball. His best innings, however, particularly outside Asian pitches, have come when he constructed them brick by brick, as opposed to what he does at home - unfurl the Big Top. Sehwag's "natural game" is more than the thin excuse that is often dished out for his failures. The real "natural game" is actually the gunpowder behind the fireworks: it lies not only in Sehwag's "natural" gifts: timing, balance, aggression, clarity of thought - but also in Sehwag's acute understanding of tempo. His "natural game" is as much calculative as it is instinctive. It is two simultaneous pieces of judgement - of what to hit and when. When they are in sync, he is at his most dangerous and most effective.

During his maiden century as Test opener, in Nottingham 2002, Sehwag's first fifty came off 106 balls. In December 2003, he scored 195 in Melbourne before tea, but what is forgotten is that after the first 16 overs, Sehwag was 16 off 47 balls. His previous century outside the subcontinent, in January 2008, is also his only second-innings century away from home. The 151 in Adelaide had a tempo that could interest a composer: the first fifty off 78 balls, the second off 45 and the third off 105.

His king pair, say those who know him best, is a reflection of where Sehwag found himself at Edgbaston, just off surgery. Underprepared and in a corner, he opted for attack to shake off the rust, attack for the sake of attack, attack to stamp his authority by chancing his luck. Wrong place, wrong time.

"What's important is he [Sehwag] still backs himself to play those shots and that's one thing that will definitely help us win more games," Dhoni said. "We are a side that relies heavily on the opening pair." The opening stands in England - 63, 19, 0, 6, 8 and 3 - have begun the slide. Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, considered India's best openers in the last 25 years, were involved in only the last two, Gambhir's scores in the first and third Test were 15, 22, 38 and 14.

"Whenever we have got off to a good start, the middle and the lower-middle order have really capitalised on it and been able to put par-plus scores. I think we rely on it but it's not that we can't score if the openers don't score. I don't want to put any extra pressure on the openers."

It's a bit too late. India are in danger of losing 0-4, a scoreline worse than the Summer of 42, a euphemism for the 1974 tour, when India were bowled out for their lowest Test score. The Oval, however, is not a bad place for India to try and regain their breath. On their previous two tours, India's first-innings scores at the Oval were 508 and 664. For that, though, India needs Sehwag to settle in, stretch himself and once again, regain his authority as an opener of influence outside the sub-continent. It needs the real Virender Sehwag to exhale.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hhillbumper on August 18, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    I wish we could bowl at sehwag all the time.What average would Cook have if he batted in India all the time.You have to be good in all conditions and Viv was miles ahead of Sehwag against some pretty good attacks.

  • akhilesh0109 on August 18, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    @raj12345.. please dont speak when u dont know the facts.. instead of last 2 yrs, just look back at the wc.. india vs bangladesh.. there was a certain virender sehwag who took the bangladeshis to the cleaners so much so that even the crowd was shell shocked, let alone the bangladeshi players.. this after overlookiing the countless flying starts he gave to the team in the world cup..

  • mad_cricinfo on August 18, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Common guys, Dont blame too much on Sehwag, it was his first test after surgery. What are the other guys doing...what about Sachin/Laxman/Gambir??? One thing for sure, Without Sehwag, its almost impossible to win test matches. India need him and I am sure, he will fire!!!

  • cricPassion2009 on August 18, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    What is baffling is why are they not picking Wasim Jaffer ? He is in excellent form in English county cricket, and he is right there, available and ready to play for team India. Yes, there is a problem finding the player to drop, but it is surprising b.c.c.i has not exercised all options.

  • Vinit_Sharma_Singh on August 18, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    How on Earth can you say Sehwag "rewrote not just rules but entire rulebooks about the technique needed to succeed in England, the mandatory temperament required for an opener" etc after his woeful performance last test?

  • Ganchu on August 18, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    This is the time to think BCCI, because those are the people denying indian players to play in county circuit.Atleast players like Irfan ,Uthappa, pandey and all other young players can gain some experinace and i dont think they are playing any cricket at the moment. Come on BCCI dont take the opportunity of other players to gain some experiance and also money in England.

  • Raj12345 on August 18, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    @Asad Raza - 100 % agree with you. People are not honest. It is not matter of Injury to Shewag. Can anyone tell me when Shewag played good innings in ODI or test in last 2 years. He had very bad period once and about go out of cricket, then Chikka brought him back. Again, last 2 years he is doing the same. very worst. Just remove him.

    He was glorious once upon time, don't make us stupid by keep saying this for years. Then bring Kapil, Gavaskar & Shatri ect to team, since they were glorious. Indian cricket is not only current players. Looks like they rented their place permanently and not doing anything.

  • siddhinath on August 18, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Can anyone please tell me about the Summer of 42, ?

  • CricketChat on August 18, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Every cricket fan would love to see the old Shewag again, because of the joy and exhilaration he creates. However, I feel his best days are behind him. He, like the great Viv Richards, depend on hand-eye coordination to attack the ball and lack sold defensive technique to compensate slowing reflexes due aging. Unlike, Viv, Shewag is not a natural athlete, hence gets injured more often unless he puts in a lot of hard work to stay in shape. I also hope he goes out with a bang even though my heart says he won't.

  • aarpee2 on August 18, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    If only Sehwag had opted out of this year's IPL and not postponed his surgery he would have been fit,up and running for the England tour.So clearly he had his options and he is now paying for it.Frankly it did not seem to not figure highly in his scheme of things and we are seeing the consequences.One needs to be at the top of his game and fitness if one wants to do well for his side in England where the conditions test the best at their best. The fourth test will go the same way as do not possess the attack to get 20 wickets.With RP playing and Raina being retained the chances of even a draw look bleak.

  • hhillbumper on August 18, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    I wish we could bowl at sehwag all the time.What average would Cook have if he batted in India all the time.You have to be good in all conditions and Viv was miles ahead of Sehwag against some pretty good attacks.

  • akhilesh0109 on August 18, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    @raj12345.. please dont speak when u dont know the facts.. instead of last 2 yrs, just look back at the wc.. india vs bangladesh.. there was a certain virender sehwag who took the bangladeshis to the cleaners so much so that even the crowd was shell shocked, let alone the bangladeshi players.. this after overlookiing the countless flying starts he gave to the team in the world cup..

  • mad_cricinfo on August 18, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Common guys, Dont blame too much on Sehwag, it was his first test after surgery. What are the other guys doing...what about Sachin/Laxman/Gambir??? One thing for sure, Without Sehwag, its almost impossible to win test matches. India need him and I am sure, he will fire!!!

  • cricPassion2009 on August 18, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    What is baffling is why are they not picking Wasim Jaffer ? He is in excellent form in English county cricket, and he is right there, available and ready to play for team India. Yes, there is a problem finding the player to drop, but it is surprising b.c.c.i has not exercised all options.

  • Vinit_Sharma_Singh on August 18, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    How on Earth can you say Sehwag "rewrote not just rules but entire rulebooks about the technique needed to succeed in England, the mandatory temperament required for an opener" etc after his woeful performance last test?

  • Ganchu on August 18, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    This is the time to think BCCI, because those are the people denying indian players to play in county circuit.Atleast players like Irfan ,Uthappa, pandey and all other young players can gain some experinace and i dont think they are playing any cricket at the moment. Come on BCCI dont take the opportunity of other players to gain some experiance and also money in England.

  • Raj12345 on August 18, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    @Asad Raza - 100 % agree with you. People are not honest. It is not matter of Injury to Shewag. Can anyone tell me when Shewag played good innings in ODI or test in last 2 years. He had very bad period once and about go out of cricket, then Chikka brought him back. Again, last 2 years he is doing the same. very worst. Just remove him.

    He was glorious once upon time, don't make us stupid by keep saying this for years. Then bring Kapil, Gavaskar & Shatri ect to team, since they were glorious. Indian cricket is not only current players. Looks like they rented their place permanently and not doing anything.

  • siddhinath on August 18, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Can anyone please tell me about the Summer of 42, ?

  • CricketChat on August 18, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Every cricket fan would love to see the old Shewag again, because of the joy and exhilaration he creates. However, I feel his best days are behind him. He, like the great Viv Richards, depend on hand-eye coordination to attack the ball and lack sold defensive technique to compensate slowing reflexes due aging. Unlike, Viv, Shewag is not a natural athlete, hence gets injured more often unless he puts in a lot of hard work to stay in shape. I also hope he goes out with a bang even though my heart says he won't.

  • aarpee2 on August 18, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    If only Sehwag had opted out of this year's IPL and not postponed his surgery he would have been fit,up and running for the England tour.So clearly he had his options and he is now paying for it.Frankly it did not seem to not figure highly in his scheme of things and we are seeing the consequences.One needs to be at the top of his game and fitness if one wants to do well for his side in England where the conditions test the best at their best. The fourth test will go the same way as do not possess the attack to get 20 wickets.With RP playing and Raina being retained the chances of even a draw look bleak.

  • Dashgar on August 18, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Lately I've started rating Sehwag lower and lower. If you compare him to the other opening batsman/destroyer going round now, Chris Gayle, Gayle actually has the ability to play a responsible innings when the situation calls for it. Sehwag seems unable to do this. He struggles outside of the subcontinent and often doesn't seem to care. I don't think he will be back in England, but who knows, there isn't much coming through.

  • bhaloniaz on August 18, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Why only Shewag? Why not Ghamvir? Sachin? Dravid?Laxman? They all average high(50, except Laxman). If Shewag scores a quickfire 50 or 100 does not mean india will win. Its not india where it was important to score 700 runs in first two days so that opponent would followon even with 500 days. Low SR is not the reason India lost. England win with a team effort and indian supporter journalists are writing eulogies for the individual Gods of cricket.(They are great batsmen, but they cannot win it by themselves) Indian bowlers have to take 20 wickets. Go team work!! Go England!!

  • zuber21886 on August 18, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    its certain, India have the talents but not a good managing board who can nourish their talented players with all requirements to remain top of the world, if this team India was in the hand of Austrailian or England board or even SouthAfrican board, they might have remained number 1 till years like how Australia dominated for long time

  • Vijay_MatchWinner on August 18, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    I do not agree that Sehwag and Gambhir are the best opening pair in last 25 years. I am sure and believe that Tendulkar-Ganguly were much better than them. --------

    This needs an award for Shaktiman. We have different openers in ODI and Tests.

  • on August 18, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    @Chris Ward: Sachin and Dravid are given gods statue by their fans but players do not think in that manner if u ask them are u god? they will say no. So, it is fans who given these names and that is fans choice not the choice of Sachin or Dravid. So, both Sachin and Dravid have worked very hard for the success of Indian team and they are considered to be top players around the world. Ok in this series their presences did not make any difference for Indian team but it does not mean that they are ordinary players... Indian selectors did not select these players just like that to play that many test matches. It is their records and performance which got them into test sides. Don't forget that Dravid had already scored 2 centuries in the present series...

  • on August 18, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Sehwag is the only batsmen in the Indian team who I think is as good as people say, all the others are overrated, in the case of Tendulkar and Dravid given almost Godlike status, when in truth there are a dozen batsmen currently in test cricket who would have similar or better stats were they to play so many tests. Still, they are very good players and if Sehwag gets them off to a good start there is always the chance the batting lineup will come good, particularly if the pitch is a bit flat. The main problem is the bowlers - there's just no way this excuse of a bowling attack can bowl out a team that has ten players capable of getting a test ton, unless there's some real fireworks in the wicket, in which case they probably won't be defending much in the first place.

  • on August 18, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    What I personally feel is that Sehwag should change his style on bowlers friendly wickets. Initially he should try to get in and then go for shots, ok if a good ball is bowled on the first instances then nothing can be done. In the test at Birmingham, Sehwag was trying to leave the ball but decision to withdraw was late and in second innings, he was fishing at the ball which was swinging a bit. So, on flat pitches Sehwag will be nightmare for bowlers but on bowling friendly pitches Sehwag will be nightmare for Indian team. If Sehwag changes his style then he can be great asset in test team for India. If not he is just spoiling the openers spot and not giving opportunities to players like Mukund or Murali Vijay to blossom into good openers..

  • indianzen on August 18, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Drop raina, pull in mukund and mukund to open with gambir, Sehwag will middle order...

  • on August 18, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    I hope in future he is going to be the only batsmen to score triplet of triples and having the king pair with him.If he is on song at the oval i think no one can stop his crusade.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 18, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    I have to disagree with the stats as they are heavily flawed, in that batsmen pre 1980 the number of deliveries faced were not recorded by scorers. Hence the abundance of SR's with Asterix(*) next to them. Also SR isnt a good indicator, look at Sehwags figures in New Zeland, and Average of 20 but an SR of 97, in England his SR is 66, and 67 in SA. I dont dispute that on his day he is a batsman that can take the bowling to the cleaners.

  • on August 18, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    All the fans are like that, if india wins.... everyone praises.... if India lose than everyone critisics..... All players are human not the machines.... please understand that.....

  • on August 18, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    sehwag is miracle man.really he can save indian team

  • Shaktiiman on August 18, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    I do not agree that Sehwag and Gambhir are the best opening pair in last 25 years. I am sure and believe that Tendulkar-Ganguly were much better than them.

  • on August 18, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    No doubt Shewag is a dangerous player when he is top gear, but of late, he has been getting out pretty soon and consequently the pressure builds on the batsmen to follow. We bank upon Shewag & Gambir to fire the cylinders in this match, to at least give some pride in the proceedings. If Indian put up a good score and win this match, it will be a boost for the ODI & T20s to follow. So good luck Shewag & Indian team, keep up our pride high.

  • on August 18, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Yes this is the problem .. for team India to win it is necessary that names like sehwag and tendulkar perform. There is no doubt that sehwag is a very good batsman but is he the same when not batting in home conditions? The only thing that will provide India a victory is team work. Not relying too much on 2 or 3 players everybody is supposed to do his bit, the only way to win when not playing in home conditions. Plus if India needs a good fast bowler i am available for a couple of months (A Pakistani street cricketer) :p

  • rahulcricket007 on August 18, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    yes ugra said right .sehwag should attack the bowlers but after settling & spending some time on the crease . he should understand that these conditions are different . he should not play shot on the very first ball .

  • heat-seeker on August 18, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    The combined batting lineup needs to fire in Test cricket against a very good bowling attack. One man won't be enough.

  • on August 18, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    what this article failed to deliver was the obvious paragraph showing that in the last x games the trio has only been protected only a handfull of occasions for any legitimate amount of time. what happened to the good old goal of an openning pair to build steadily and SEE OFF THE NEW BALL.

  • on August 18, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    Totally agreed with "Noboundary", what this article tries to feed us is that "Rajas" of past can be best leaders in presents days as well, so plz don't stick to glorious Openres of 2007, if they can't perform in 2011.

  • on August 18, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    What a boring article. I am sure even Sehwag does not know what he does! Bore!

  • hamz501 on August 18, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Sehwag is a tremendous player. But any person with a hint of cricketing knowledge know that sehwag will more than likely not be able to blast a 100 of 120 balls in swinging conditions. Not to say that he cant play in swinging conditions, but his technique is not great for conditions where there is sideways movement. Kinda similar to laxman(though not completely because laxman prefers the backfoot) but players who do not use their feet too much will generally struggle in swinging conditions. This is the reason that Dravid is successful in England.

  • Raj12345 on August 18, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    The opening stands in England - 63, 19, 0, 6, 8 and 3. We had similar result when Dhawan/Vijay/Parthiv did their job during WI ODIs. All three are gone now. But how come these 2 openers survive after poor test series. Magic, Magic, Magic. Raina, not doing anything since WI tour, still survives in team, Magic Magic.

  • on August 18, 2011, 3:28 GMT

    I think india have to forget the past 4 weeks of their worst cricket in test matches n concentrate on the future.They have to work hard for the victory at the oval though it is tough n challenging when you were in extremely low in confidence.A win at the oval gives india team the much needed boost required to complete the remaing odi series on a high note. This is the first match for india playing as world no.2 after 21 months n facing the best test team who have beaten them 3-0. I feel india have to bring in rp singh in place of sreesanth.I observed that in the last 3 matches sreesanth was below par n disturbed the economy and confidence of other two pacers praveen n ishanth by leaking runs in plenty.As an indian fan i am waiting for a batting treat from the openers n the big 3.all the best for indian team.

  • Mopsy on August 18, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    Sehwag and swing Sehwag's average in NZ, SA and ENG is 20, 25 and 29 respectively.

  • jaggi.jagan on August 18, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    Make Mukund to open with Gambhir and have Shewag play in the middle. This probably is a better bandage work than continue to have a Raina or Kohli (both bad players at test level) in the middle. Will this even cross Dhoni's mind? I doubt it.

  • on August 18, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    Sehwag may succeed at the Oval, where it does not swing much. When it swings, Sehwag's swing of the bat is always close to the ball, not on it.

  • on August 17, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    Such a blah article! Are cricinfo writers under compulsion to write _something_ even if they have nothing to write?? :-P

  • RandyOZ on August 17, 2011, 23:09 GMT

    @S.N.Singh, you do realise that when most people see a whole post in capital letters they just ignore it right?

  • Noboundary on August 17, 2011, 23:07 GMT

    All Indian cricket journalists seem to have a compulsion to eat out of Indian star batsmen's hands. They fail to realize that everyone has an expiry date in sports... past glory cannot be deciding factor in today's performance. To some extent they are responsible for what Gavaskar correctly said "some players seem to think that Indian cricket owes them a lot .. not the other way around" My request to cricket journalists is " Please do not drool over past greats.. be realistic and call a spade a spade". This way they will serve the interests of Indian cricket better.

  • sankar8000 on August 17, 2011, 22:42 GMT

    If Sehwag play a calm wait and attack then he can really put the opposition into the floor! Just 2 innings failure cannot be blown out of proportions! Waiting for his Big Knock.........

  • subbass on August 17, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    Can't see him troubling the scorers again, out of form is out of form even people like Viru need some form behind them. It will be interesting to see if he can get back in form though as he is very entertaining ! At least the wicket will be flat and the outfield quick.

  • arvin on August 17, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    sehwag is not wanted whether of old or new... let him play on flat pitches of sub-continent and brainless expert then hail him as the greatest... for real cricket fans know sehwag ave outside sub-continent is very poor and in matches india won his highest score is 47...

  • on August 17, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    No doubt Sehwag is a very dangerous player when he is on top of his game. But he hasn't been for a while,the stats show same. India need a good start, Ghambir/Sehwag 150 would be great, but it will not happen. Neither is on top of his game, and the English pacers r on top of theirs. The Englishmen r bubbling with confidence & that is enough.Keep yr fingers cross, stranger things have happened.

  • on August 17, 2011, 21:19 GMT

    Shewag is a spent force, He put the IPL before his country, like Zaheer, Tendulkar and Gambhir who played with injuries. The next president of the BCC is N Srinivasan the owner of the Chenni Super kings so do not expect things to change the guy has a vested interest in the IPL so guys like Shewag will continue to put club before country. It is time the Indian fans voted with their feet and boycotted the IPL otherwise the Indian test team is doomed and with it the teams of sri Lanka, the West Indies and New Zealand as the IPL continues to rob them of their talant.

  • Nampally on August 17, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    India needs a determined Sehwag who is committed to staying at one end. That is what India needs now.Unfortunately, he tried to avoid a ball moving away and could not pull his bat away- got a faintest sncik - Umpire gave not out but DRS came to rescue England. He unluckily hung out his bat again to fall to the first ball in the second innings too.He should have spent hours practicing to leave the moving ball well alone. Hopefully, third time is lucky!.India needs a sound opening partnership similar to what England got in the last test.If they do then Indian batting will click. A sound start will guarantee Indian total of over 400. That is the first step towards regaining some respect after 6 scores of <300. Indian bowling is average but its batting great. This is what led India to be #1 in test and now with failed batting it looks like a Minnows team & make England's average bowling look great.Can Sehwag & Gambhir restore the Indian batting greatness with a great start? Chak De India

  • S.N.Singh on August 17, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    HEARING THE WRITER SPEAKING OF INDIA AND ITS PLAYERS IS LIKE HEARING THE WOMAN ON " MSNBC NEWS " REACHEAL MADDOW,USA. WHICH NO BODY WANT TO LISTEN TO. SHE SPEAKS OF REPUBLICANS ( USA ) AS IF THEY ARE THE BIGGEST EVIL OF THIS WORLD. AND SHARDA URGA WRITES OF INDIAN CRICKET AND THE CRICKET ADMINISTRATION AS IF THEY ARE THE LARGEST EVIL IN THIS WORLD. WHAT SHE MUST REALIZED OR YOU CAN'T DO THAT. IS THAT ENGLANG IS VERY DIFICULT TO BEAT IN ENGLAND AND IF INDIA COULD HAVE DONE THAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE GREATEST THING TO HAVE HAPPENED. THE INDIAN PLAYERS RIGHT HANDERS AND LEFT HANDERS SOCCUMB TO THE"OUT SWINGER". AND THE ENGLISH BOWLERS ARE PUTTING IT THERE, JUST ON THE OFF STUMP. AND THE INDIANS ARE GOING FOR IT . THEY COULD GO AT IT WIT A SLANT BAT INSTEAD OF A STRAIGHT BAT AND IT WILL HAVE A BIG DIFFERENCE. DHONI IS DOING THAT BUT HE BATS TOO LATE. IT TOO LATE NOW BUT THEY SHOULD TAKE A LESSON FROM VISHWANAUTH. S. N. SINGH U.S.A.

  • dsig3 on August 17, 2011, 20:47 GMT

    A king pair in his last test. I have seen more hatricks than king pairs in my lifetime. It is extremely hard to do worse than that so he can only improve. I think his golden period may be over though, hard to sustain that sort of success for a long time. Might find a few more golden ducks in the future for Sehwag and the fickle Indian media wont be fawning over his blaze approach anymore.

  • AjaySridharan on August 17, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    Yet another poetic vent to over-optimism. What is with Indian writers and their obsessive compulsion to over exaggerate the virtues of Indian batsmen?! Sehwag in my mind is no better than a Matt Hayden or Adam Gilchrist at their best. They were much fitter men, arguably fitter even now compared to many in the playing 11 for India...and called it quits at the right time coz they had other interests in life! Let's face it...Indians need a placid batting track to score heavily. That was pretty obvious when Dhoni, very unlike him, put England into bat twice in this series after winning the toss. If he had backed his batters, he would have chosen to bat. He played defense on the first two games, and lost the mental battle right there.

  • Valavan on August 17, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    Comon England, One last time this series, I believe England take it 4 - 0.

  • Buggsy on August 17, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    Whether the Sehwag of old shows up or not is irrelevant. Doesn't matter if India score 200 or 700, what's REALLY needed is for some bowlers to show up who can take the 20 wickets they need to win.

  • Rahulbose on August 17, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    Well one thing you can be sure of is Sehwag will be fighting and trying to dominate England bowlers. That is a major improvement compared to the spineless, scratching display of some other legendary old men in this series.

  • landl47 on August 17, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    Sehwag is a brilliant player to watch and an amazingly effective one for someone who scores so fast. Averaging over 50 when scoring at over 80 per 100 balls is beyond most test batsmen's dreams. However, at the moment both his form and his fitness are issues. He wasn't trying to score off the first ball he received in the first innings at Edgbaston, he was trying to leave it. He also looked completely exhausted after spending two days in the field. Because of his method, playing with little footwork, he's always going to be vulnerable to the moving ball; one that nips back in the first few overs is likely to find him out. Playing the way he does, relying on reflexes rather than orthodox strokeplay, his career is likely to be shorter than the more orthodox Dravid or Tendulkar. I hope he has some good innings left in him, he's wonderful to watch.

  • on August 17, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    Nothing can be done now about India being 0-3. It is what it is. All they can do is play the next match as the only one that matters. We will find out if India rises from the ashes or England continues to strut its dominance. That is what sport is about so we need to relax and enjoy and the let the players do the entertaining.

  • piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on August 17, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Give this guy a break. He is just coming back from a LONG INJURY LAYOFF. He will be back in form soon alright.

  • NairUSA on August 17, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    Sharda has brought out the unique feature in Shewag's batting whenever he has scored big - a ball by ball approach. Again, Sehwag knows best. Only he will know how to repair his form and how to worsen it. Let us hope that he brings his unique insight and score good for the sake of all cricket lovers. After all, ticket paying public needs some entertainment.

  • demon_bowler on August 17, 2011, 19:44 GMT

    "England is where Sehwag was launched as a Test opener who rewrote rulebooks. He changed perception about the technique needed to succeed in England, the mandatory temperament for an opener and the importance of footwork." With respect, he did that against an England attack that was very much in transition. Since then he hasn't even done particularly well against England in India. His overall average against England is now under 30.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 17, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    I am sure India and Sehwag will play MUCH BETTER now. The big GORILLA is off India's back and this is the perfect opportunity to ambush the Poms. There is no need to worry. Knowing Sehwag personally, I am sure he will come guns blazing. India had a HUGE responsibility before the series; the tag of no.1. I personally believe that it's good for Indian cricket to lose that tag because pressure and Indian team don't work well together. One of the key reasons for India's success over the last 2 years has been due to the fact they didn't allow stress to affect them. Gary Kirsten also had a lot to do with that. Duncan Fletcher is NOT the right man for the India job. After he was appointed, I expressed my concerns over a Neo Cricket show about how India would likely struggle under him. Looks like I got it spot on. But then again this Indian team is full of experience that it doesn't need an old man from Zimbabwe to teach them how to play.

  • Alexk400 on August 17, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Pray to GOD sehwag. :). As i said previous TEST that if sehwag stay 30 min in crease , game will change to even terms. 1 hr in crease , game will tilt india's favour. 2 hr India in driver seat. All day india will sure to win. Even if he do not score any runs , just mere his presence on the other side mess the minds of bowlers. I do not think other Viv Richards anyone have that effect. Also it is high time for sehwag to answer that he can't play in swinging conditions. He needs to play defensive first 30 mind. Only play ball that come to the stumps. Knowing sehwag , he can't control himself. He needs to start plaiying for country not for the crowd in this TEST. :)

  • on August 17, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    sehwag alone can't turn the table for india!!!

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  • on August 17, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    sehwag alone can't turn the table for india!!!

  • Alexk400 on August 17, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Pray to GOD sehwag. :). As i said previous TEST that if sehwag stay 30 min in crease , game will change to even terms. 1 hr in crease , game will tilt india's favour. 2 hr India in driver seat. All day india will sure to win. Even if he do not score any runs , just mere his presence on the other side mess the minds of bowlers. I do not think other Viv Richards anyone have that effect. Also it is high time for sehwag to answer that he can't play in swinging conditions. He needs to play defensive first 30 mind. Only play ball that come to the stumps. Knowing sehwag , he can't control himself. He needs to start plaiying for country not for the crowd in this TEST. :)

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 17, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    I am sure India and Sehwag will play MUCH BETTER now. The big GORILLA is off India's back and this is the perfect opportunity to ambush the Poms. There is no need to worry. Knowing Sehwag personally, I am sure he will come guns blazing. India had a HUGE responsibility before the series; the tag of no.1. I personally believe that it's good for Indian cricket to lose that tag because pressure and Indian team don't work well together. One of the key reasons for India's success over the last 2 years has been due to the fact they didn't allow stress to affect them. Gary Kirsten also had a lot to do with that. Duncan Fletcher is NOT the right man for the India job. After he was appointed, I expressed my concerns over a Neo Cricket show about how India would likely struggle under him. Looks like I got it spot on. But then again this Indian team is full of experience that it doesn't need an old man from Zimbabwe to teach them how to play.

  • demon_bowler on August 17, 2011, 19:44 GMT

    "England is where Sehwag was launched as a Test opener who rewrote rulebooks. He changed perception about the technique needed to succeed in England, the mandatory temperament for an opener and the importance of footwork." With respect, he did that against an England attack that was very much in transition. Since then he hasn't even done particularly well against England in India. His overall average against England is now under 30.

  • NairUSA on August 17, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    Sharda has brought out the unique feature in Shewag's batting whenever he has scored big - a ball by ball approach. Again, Sehwag knows best. Only he will know how to repair his form and how to worsen it. Let us hope that he brings his unique insight and score good for the sake of all cricket lovers. After all, ticket paying public needs some entertainment.

  • piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on August 17, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Give this guy a break. He is just coming back from a LONG INJURY LAYOFF. He will be back in form soon alright.

  • on August 17, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    Nothing can be done now about India being 0-3. It is what it is. All they can do is play the next match as the only one that matters. We will find out if India rises from the ashes or England continues to strut its dominance. That is what sport is about so we need to relax and enjoy and the let the players do the entertaining.

  • landl47 on August 17, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    Sehwag is a brilliant player to watch and an amazingly effective one for someone who scores so fast. Averaging over 50 when scoring at over 80 per 100 balls is beyond most test batsmen's dreams. However, at the moment both his form and his fitness are issues. He wasn't trying to score off the first ball he received in the first innings at Edgbaston, he was trying to leave it. He also looked completely exhausted after spending two days in the field. Because of his method, playing with little footwork, he's always going to be vulnerable to the moving ball; one that nips back in the first few overs is likely to find him out. Playing the way he does, relying on reflexes rather than orthodox strokeplay, his career is likely to be shorter than the more orthodox Dravid or Tendulkar. I hope he has some good innings left in him, he's wonderful to watch.

  • Rahulbose on August 17, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    Well one thing you can be sure of is Sehwag will be fighting and trying to dominate England bowlers. That is a major improvement compared to the spineless, scratching display of some other legendary old men in this series.

  • Buggsy on August 17, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    Whether the Sehwag of old shows up or not is irrelevant. Doesn't matter if India score 200 or 700, what's REALLY needed is for some bowlers to show up who can take the 20 wickets they need to win.