On some days I really want to be like Virender Sehwag. That carefree, that courageous and having no inhibitions at all. While that might not be the best idea, given I can barely pull off these qualities, it is always fun to vicariously live through him.
Here we do the same.
1. Let’s start with Virender Sehwag’s famous triple century against Pakistan at Multan. When Sehwag was about to reach the milestone, Sachin Tendulkar is believed to have said, “If you try to hit a six, I will hit you on the bum”. He wanted Sehwag to play a little safe. However, Viru did exactly what he wanted. He hit a 6 and he scored 300.
2. Now, just when you start wondering how can he be so fearless, you read about instances, like this one from Durban: Sehwag and Gambhir wanted to go out when security stopped them saying it might be dangerous. To which Sehwag replied:
No, there is no danger. We are the most dangerous batsmen in the world.
3. Sehwag just carried that kind of aura. He believed he could do damage and that’s a belief he instilled in his teammates too. This one time VVS Laxman was injured so Sehwag was called in to be his runner.
It wasn’t an issue, for sure, but when Laxamn reached 94, Sehwag found it absurd that he would require running at all. He told him, “Obviously when you are on 94, you can get there with just a six”.
4. Sometimes these advises went wrong, too. Anil Kumble will tell you that. This is an anecdote from 2008 when the spinner was about to hit his second Test century.
5. He even got ‘the God’ of cricket to falter once by pumping him up too much.
6. In fact, lack of inhibition was almost like Sehwag’s sole parameter for judging a cricketer. Once, Geoff Boycott had the audacity to call him ‘talented but brainless’. To which Sehwag responded:
Boycott can say what he wants. He once batted the whole day and hit just one four.
7. In another rather delightful incident, Sehwag was playing alongside Jeremy Snape for Leicestershire, when Pakistani bowler Abdul Razzaq started reverse swinging the ball. It became tough to face him, so Sehwag came up with a plan.
He told Snape, “We must lose this ball. I have a plan”. Next over, he hit the ball so hard, it went out of the stadium and couldn’t be found. Obviously then, a new ball had to be brought which took time to reverse. A delighted Viru then said,”We are all right for one hour’.
8. For Sehwag, boundary was the ball’s home, and every delivery not hit for a 4 or a 6, was a missed opportunity. As Sourav Ganguly puts it:
The best way to know how Virender Sehwag’s mind works is to sit next to him in the players’ balcony when India are batting. Every few minutes he will clutch his head and yell ‘chauka gaya‘ or ‘chhakka gaya‘. That’s his way of expressing disappointment at somebody’s failure to take advantage of a ball.
9. While other batsmen tried to read the ball and gauge stuff, Sehwag simply sang songs on the crease as he hit shots like it was no one’s business.
After his singing-while-batting stint from All Stars Cricket Series went viral, he told his fans that Sonu Nigam’s Ab Mujhe Raat Din was the song he was humming during his 165-run-inning against South Africa in 2010.
10. Sehwag, along with Dhoni and Gibbs, was playing a charity match in England in 2015. The side was captained by Andrew Strauss and this is what savage Viru had to say about the skipper:
If they selected me, Dhoni and Gibbs for a scheme of 1000 pounds per boundary then they would be bankrupt so picking Straussy was the right choice.
11. And when asked about the difference between him and Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag had a short, witty reply:
Our bank balance.