The Chennai Test, played on a pitch that remained a batting beauty
till the final ball, was never going to produce a result. I would
prefer to concentrate on the batting displays of two stalwarts who in
their own different ways have served the cause of Indian cricket nobly.
sizeable crowd at Chepauk was lucky to see Virender Sehwag and Rahul
Dravid perform at their best. I can never stop marvelling at Sehwag.
People tell me that I had a rapport with the crowd as my batting used
to entertain them. But I can only doff my hat to Sehwag. He is the
crowd-puller supreme, an engaging personality who uses his bat like a
scimitar. To see Sehwag bat is a revelation for he gets away with the
most brazen of strokes.
Sehwag's approach continues to defy the
science on which batting is based. But to be averaging over 50 with his
buccaneering style, to hit two triple centuries in Tests joining the
ranks of Don Bradman and Brian Lara and to hit big hundreds, is simply
amazing. How on earth is a batsman who appears to be so fallible so
consistent? The figures against his name certainly defy conventional
logic. His approach may seem to be outrageous but can one argue with
Moreover, Sehwag is a big impact player. As long as he
was at the crease the runs were being scored at such a fast pace that
even a total of 540 did not seem to be enough to save South Africa from
defeat. The moment he was out there was a considerable slackening in
the run rate and India's chances of a win dwindled.
As far as
Dravid is concerned I have always felt that he has not got his due.
Perhaps this is because of his humble, quiet personality. He is simple,
straightforward and easily approachable and I have always felt his
batting is a reflection of his personality. To score 10,000 runs in
both forms of is something that only the best of batsmen can achieve.
What is perhaps most notable is that his average is higher in Tests
abroad as compared to matches played at home.
Much has been
written about Dravid's impeccable batting approach but a comparatively
little known fact is that his slip catching has been faultless. Indian
cricket's two rare gems chose the Chepauk to script great knocks and to
the paying public they did a great service by providing value in an
otherwise lifeless match.
Republished with permission from The Asian Age