Anyone doubting that the new age of batting is here, doubt it no more. Sehwag and his acolyte Dilshan are not just batting differently, they are thinking differently. The mindset of the game has shifted now.
I blogged before on the physical resemblance between Sehwag and the UFC lightweight champion, BJ Penn. Penn fought at the weekend, administering a zen beating to Diego Sanchez. He seemed to float while he did it, barely striking Sanchez [although Diego's face begged to differ]. Penn's nickname is 'the Prodigy'. He comes from a rich family, doesn't fight for money and until recently, barely used to train between bouts. He is an entirely natural fighter - within three years of taking up Jui-Jitsu, he was not only a black belt, but the first non-Brazilian world champion. It makes you wonder how much deeper physical similarities can go.
Sehwag's mind is as great a strength as any he has. He lets it set him free. When he was receiving the man of the match award today, he said, 'I was actually supporting Sri Lanka. When I support India, they lose. So I was supporting Sri Lanka.' Great minds think differently...
NB: As usual Geoffrey Boycott had an interesting take on Viru in his Cricinfo column: 'I am not sure it [Sehwag's batting] is modern; it is more old-fashioned. Wally Hammond made 336 at more than a run a minute for England against New Zealand in Auckland in the 1932-33 series. It took him just 318 minutes to get 336. That is very much how Sehwag plays... He is a rare, special player because he plays with a flowing bat and an uninhibited style. He has an uncluttered mind, which I like. I don't think he gets cluttered up with technique and footwork he just plays in a wonderful instinctive way, which is good. I think on good batting pitches he is a modern-day great.... if it moves around I don't see him getting 300 so easily, but on certain pitches he is a fantastic player'.
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