Ok, here is another post on cricket that I just read. India again lost another match to South Africa – this time by 5 wickets – and lost the series! One of the many disappointments (of the many) has been the form of one of the openers and one of the most destructive batsmen in the history of Indian cricket – Virender Sehwag. He is a clean and smart hitter of the ball. Here is a very good analysis of his batting technique and his batting form:
Sehwag is a player who often irritates and stuns students of batting. His technique is the very opposite of what the manual teaches. Every batsman has an initial movement which helps him shape up to face the ball. There are two methods to do this — a front foot player, like Tendulkar, puts his front foot across and waits to judge the length of the ball. On judging it, he moves either of his feet and transfers his weight to the dominant foot. A back foot player, like Laxman, obviously, puts his back foot back and across. The rest follow analogously. Importantly, both these initial movements are across the stumps and towards the line of the off stump. Viru has a baffling technique — he moves his back foot down the leg side. It is counter intuitive — since it takes him away from the line of the ball on most occasions, forcing him to play away from his body.
For the past few years, he has been doing this, much to the purists’ dismay. In doing so, he proved an important point — that cricket remains a simple game and all that one needed to do was to hit the ball with the bat. His immaculate hand-eye coordination ensured he did hit the ball. Moving away helped him generate such enormous bat speeds that he became one of the most destructive batsmen in the modern era. He countered movement, bounce and Melbourne with his right leg outside the leg stump.
Now, the same player gets out. Repeatedly. In the same fashion. The purists get to say — I told you so.
The point is — Sehwag’s room and his bat speed, which are his biggest assets, become a liability when his hand-eye coordination fails him. A player with a classical technique, like Rahul Dravid, when playing a defensive stroke, plays the ball with soft hands and close to body. So, even when Dravid is not ‘in‘, he manages to run the ball down instead of jabbing at it. When Sehwag tries to play a defensive stroke, his own footwork and technique simply generate that high bat speed — because of which he jabs at the ball. Which results in dollies for the slips
There is no easy solution to this. One cannot ask Sehwag to change his technique now. He is 28. Not 18. Waiting for him to recapture his form is a wish — not a plan. I say drop him. Find the next eye.
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