Virender Sehwag - Number 1 in the Happiness XI
The definition of happiness can be complicated. Or it can be simple; watching Sehwag bat. In a field filled with legends, few have lit up the ground as he did. It was Diwali without fumes and fretting; a child-like celebration of pure fun.
With the impossible angles his bat made the ball draw to the boundary, Virender Sehwag was a McEnroe who never cursed. A Shammi Kapoor dancing to the tune of a different drummer. If Mozart had a willow instead of a bow in his hand, he would have played like Viru. Yet, there is actually no one like him.
According to purists his game was unsuited to the rigours of test cricket. But then Sehwag did not know it. So he went about scoring India’s highest, second highest, and third highest individual test scores. His unawareness of the norms was so vast that he aggregated over 8,000 test runs at an average of nearly 50; with a strike rate of 82. Yes 82. In tests. Ignorance is not only bliss, but lightning quick!
He played cricket like a game, when for most others it was a day in the office - or of late, a war. Yet, his smile and casual whistling hid a shrewd cricket brain and a rugged preparedness. To get used to the heat of Chennai, he switched off the A/C in his room the previous night; then went out and scored a triple ton against South Africa. In 2009, Australia, he insisted skipper Kumble give an extra over to a tiring Ishant. The next ball got Ponting caught and paved the way for India’s win.
Thank you Viru for all the happiness you have given us. But then, what are we, mere mortals, if a Gary Sobers said he would travel a thousand miles to watch you bat.