A swaggering Sehwag impels all to push aside others!

It was the best ever start to an innings in test cricket for the last 50 years that we saw at Lahore when Indians milked the Pakistan bowling. Fours and sixes were running without a stop throughout the test match, no matter which team was batting. But the one man who leapt out was the Indian opener Virender Sehwag. The best partnership for the opening wicket might be the 413 between India’s Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy against New Zealand in 1956. But there are some very important factors that make this innings special. The Kiwi bowlers weren’t of the greatest build then. Tony MacGibbon was the most experienced who had only 41 wickets from 18 tests until then. Johnny Hayes had only 13 wickets from 6 matches, Harry Cave had only 20 from 14, Alex Moir had only 21 from 12 and Matt Poore had only 9 from 14. This shows that the then Kiwi attack was so lame. Compare this with the proven capabilities of the Pakistani bowlers who were flailed by Sehwag and Rahul Dravid. Danish Kaneria has 143 wickets from 31 tests, Shoaib Akhtar has 161 wickets from 40 tests, Moahammad Sami has 65 from 25, Rana Naved-Ul-Hassan has 16 from 8, Shahid Afridi has 39 from 21 and Shoaib Malik has 12 from 13. Though the records of Rana Naved, Malik and Afridi seem not telling, they have got adequate experience in international cricket. Another factor that distinguishes the Sehwag-Dravid duo from Mankad-Roy is that the new generation made it away from home unlike the old generation. The third factor is that Sehwag and Dravid made this gigantic partnership facing the first ball with a deficit of 679 runs whereas the other two were batting in the first innings of that Madras test match in 1956 January.
With his blistering knock, Sehwag could sideline all the other players who made it big in this match. The list includes technicians like Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Dravid and killing machines like Afridi and Kamran Akmal. Once again Dravid proved that he is the best support innings player around. It was a great wicket to bat on and both sides proved it, though the Indians deserve more credit. The worthy question still remains; what was the use of this flattest of tracks for a series like this? Was this test match meant for a series opener batting practice for both sides?
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6 responses to A swaggering Sehwag impels all to push aside others!

  1. There’s a thing I’ve observed about Indians or rather for other cricketing nations. Blame the pitch, the umpires, the weather or the balls in case we do not score well.In case, we cant get wickets, blame the same agents again.But once we overcome all these factors, we seem to put it in the following manner – “We thrashed them, didnt we?”Hopefully good times will be here to stay for the Indians and we’ll see a competitive series. Cheers!

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  2. Yah! This is common with the players especially from India. But the media never supports these kinds of issues and excuses. They all know what is the problem with each player and with the team as a unit. But in this case, there is no such issues and the man Sehwag went on and on and on in his own style and it was undoubtedly one of the best innings that we have seen in the near future. The two Indian openers shoudld be given all the accolades for perishing the opposition keeping in mind the fact that they were 679 runs behind on starting the innings. But as with any other player, these two may or may not produce innings of the same build in the same series. Let’s hope for the best and for a fine series. Happy to have your comments here Third Eye.

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  3. just a jester

    this was a waste of a match and there is no point in comparing the different innings.

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  4. Do you mean those innings that come in test matches that produce results only count? Then you are mistaken. As a test match, surely the Lahore test was disappointing. But inningswise, both teams batted pretty well. There is no doubt in it. The test might not have produced a result; but then the reason for it was Virender Sehwag’s style of batting and the solid support he received from Rahul Dravid. If such innings do not matter, then what was the relevance of Brian Lara’s 400* against England? What was the relevance of Sachin Tendulkar’s double hundred at Sydney where India made more than 700 in one innings. What do you think was the importance of the innings played by Sanath Jayasuria and Roshan Mahanama against India when they achieved the world record for the highest partnership? The Sri Lankan score was more than 900 then! Those test matches might not have been any better; but take nothing away from players who play with so much aggression and will. There is point in comparing innings mate. Otherwise Asanka Gurusinghe would be good enough to stand with Don Bradman; Blair Pocock would be good enough to stand with Sachin Tendulkar and so on. Comparison is there in all the fileds; cricket or sports for that matter is no exception. Remember, you had compared Roger Federer with Rod Laver in this same blog once! 🙂 That time, you said Federer would won matches quite easily over Laver. If there were no comparison, then how came your view? 🙂

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  5. just a jester

    Two tests gone… and nothing left of the bowlers on both sides….The very fact that RP Singh got the Man of the match proves that the adjuricators felt that there is no point in comparing the scores posted by the batsmen….and me still believes Laver in his prime would have got thrashed by Federer

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  6. Re: Just a JesterThe tests were boring. There is no doubt about that. I have only said the batting by both teams was outstanding. It doesn’t have anything to be related to the test results. As a test fan, the two tests were disappointing; but a batting fan, the two tests had something on offer. 🙂I reminded you of the Laver-Federer affair only to invite your attention to the fact you also compared different eras and different players. I was bemused to see the same person commenting to this post that ‘there is no point in comparing different innings’! Then what is it in comparing Federer and Laver? 🙂

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