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Sidharth Monga in Christchurch
February 25, 2009
Six long years after a disastrous tour, what do you do against your first ball in New Zealand? If you are Virender Sehwag, you might half-flick half-pull it over the shortest boundary of the ground. What do you do second ball? Flick it for another six in the same region. And the third? Another six, this time flat over square leg. Hello New Zealand.
I've got him, don't worry
At the pre-match press conference, Daniel Vettori mentioned how Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir posed the biggest threat. "Not Yuvraj Singh?" one journalist asked. Vettori gave him a diplomatic reply about how good Yuvraj was. And on today's evidence, one could see why Vettori did not bother too much about Yuvraj. He got Yuvraj lbw on the sweep with his second ball.
The number of sixes struck showed how short the boundaries are at the AMI Stadium. But there is another indicator as well - the extremely low number of twos. It wasn't until the 16th over that the Indians ran the first two of their innings. There were only seven twos in the entire match, compared to 24 sixes.
The fad's catching on. Mark Wagh did it on the county circuit in England, R Satish did it in the ICL, Adam Voges did it recently in the Twenty20 international against New Zealand in Sydney. And Jacob Oram did it today. Yusuf Pathan was searching for his fourth consecutive six against Nathan McCullum and almost found it with a flat hit towards long on. Oram caught the ball on the boundary but was in danger of going over the rope. In one smooth motion, he threw the ball up in the air, stepped off the boundary, moved back in and held the catch. Anyone remember Hrishikesh Kanitkar on India's Australia tour of 1999-2000? He once leaned on the fence [a fielder could touch the fence and still be within play] and took a catch from virtually among the crowd.
Know who calls the shots
Spotted on TV: Ravindra Jadeja reading Captain Cool by Gulu Ezekiel. So who is it about? MS Dhoni, who else? Hope Dhoni was watching. You can read Kanishkaa Balachandran's review of the book here.
A look at some of cricket's most memorable strokes - and their makers