Without doubt, he is one in a hundred

India, Nov. 23 -- Virender Sehwag is not the kind who is hot on numbers, and it seems a bit contradictory that we celebrate a statistical milestone he has reached -- even if it is something significant that puts him in a select group, which has played hundred Tests.

Viru, through his splendid career, has demonstrated a healthy disdain for stats. He plays for himself and the team but has never been overly bothered about how the numbers stack up. That is why no regret for being dismissed in the 90s -- 195 at Melbourne or 293 in a Test. His eye is on the ball, not on the scorebook.

Such contradictions are a part of Viru's amazing cricket journey. Starting out as a useful all-rounder (aggressive middle-order bat, handy off spinner), he went up the order to become an opener, a role reversal, which in the Indian cricket context is as dangerous as driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

Some pundits thought his technique needed a lot of work, but his record speaks for itself. Others said he was too aggressive, but he is the only Indian to score two triple hundreds in Tests.

Gift of judgement

Viru is special. What sets him apart is his abundant gift of judgement, balance, sharp eye and amazing timing. Add to that the 'no fear' mindset of a trained commando and the remarkable quality of always being on the front foot.

Sehwag's appeal lies in his uncomplicated method, his guiding philosophy is batsmen are meant to make runs as quickly as possible.

Viru is cricket's box office. In the eyes of fans, he is the popular aam aadmi hero, much like Kapil Dev.

In his career spanning a hundred Tests, Viru has contributed to Indian cricket's progress, by patenting the slashed hit over point, by playing match-winning innings and by giving it a character and free spirit that others respect, and opposition bowlers dread.

The writer is the CEO of Delhi Daredevils

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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