Monday, 15 December 2008

Virender Sehwag and the Next Age

In certain sports at certain times come the avatars of its next age. They bring with them hints of what is possible, of how things will happen in the future. Arnold Palmer was one in golf. Sonny Liston was one in boxing. Arnold Schwarzenegger was one in bodybuilding (really, he was). Usain Bolt may be one in sprinting. Virender Sehwag might be cricket's newest.

We know the stats. In Tests he averages 51.85 with a strike rate of 78.12. That is 15 runs per 100 balls more than Pietersen, 20 more than Ponting, 21 more than Gayle. But what are the stats telling us?

To me, they are saying, 'this is how things will be'. Sehwag is the first, the fluke, the avatar. Behind him will come a new age of Test cricket, fed its players from the shorter game. They will be the first generation whose primary skill sets come from a new area. They will not be long-form players playing the short game. They will be short form players playing the long one. 

In Chennai the old met the new. Sehwag set up the win. Tendulkar, with what might be his last truly great innings, won it. They were ships that pass. In ten years, more people will bat with Sehwag's mindset than with Tendulkar's. The New Age is coming. He even has his own religion to prove it. 

4 comments:

12th Man said...

Prophetic, but undeniably true.The age of Shiv, Kallis, Dravid etc is gone. Sehwagology is the order of the day.

Keshto said...

But is he really a short format batsman? He seems to lose it in one day and does not have the most amazing twenty20 stats.

He has the ability to bat for 4 sessions and still remain aggressive.

He is a Test player first and foremost in my opinion. And an amazing one.se

The Old Batsman said...

Yeah, Dravid might be gone already according to Sky Sports... dunno if it's true though.

Hi Keshto - no, I see him as a Test player too, just a different sort...

Ritesh. P said...

He’s an absolute maverick with the bat isn’t he? I wonder how the bowlers garner courage to bowl at him yet again, only to see the ball disappear to the ropes or into the crowd.