Himanshu Dubey

(Jagran Post Network): Prior to the tournament, Virender Sehwag expressed his desire of batting long in the innings to lay a sturdy foundation for the batsmen to follow. India is only one game past in the show piece event and it did not take him long to get down and put into practice his preset strategy.

In the very first game against Bangladesh, he testified that it was not a flashing claim he made rather it is something he was adamant about and will look to do every time he walks out to bat.

Sehwag, when in full flow is pleasing to watch, not for the bowling side though, which rues the fact that why is he not playing in their team. Scoring major chunk of his runs through big hits, he does not make the 50-over period look drag and stretched by hurling ample entertainment at the crowd.

For bowlers, he is a killing machine. Their line and length has to be spot on as he leaves no margin for error and if the bowlers are just a fraction off it, he thumps it hard with minimal amount of footwork.

MATCH: In pics

India tame Tigers in their den

On Saturday in the WC opener, when the coin flipped down in Shakib-al-Hasan’s favour, a loud roar engulfed the Sher-e-Bangla stadium and the Bangla fans, along with players taking the field, were optimistic of replaying the previous World Cup’s script.

But all the optimism and hopes were soon blown away by Sehwag storm. He stroked the ball to every corner in the ground, sparing no Bangladesh bowler from the fire of his willow. A scintillating century studded with six’s and four’s lit up the stadium and shunned all comeback doors for opposition, who looked clueless tacking the dazzling batsman.

But what stood out in the innings is his ability to change gears and the ease with which he played the left-arm tweakers. He made sure that the bowlers are not allowed to settle into a rhythm and kept coming down the track, hitting them over the top to keep them off-guard.

Sehwag’s batting form is vital for Team India’s success. He along with master blaster Sachin Tendulkar form a lethal opening pair and there is none in the world who can match Virender Sehwag stroke per stroke. With a phenomenal strike rate of over run-a-ball, his presence at the crease keeps the opposition skipper to have his thinking cap on.

The way Sehwag has started this World Cup is an ominous sign for rest of the teams. Once he gets going, as he did against Bangladesh, he score runs at double quick pace. In the middle overs, he gets bored and throws his wicket away. In the match against the Tigers, he did fight with boredom but somehow managed to hold enough concentration levels to stay at the crease and preserve his wicket.

So when he claimed that he wants to bat long, did Sehwag mean he won’t allow boredom overtake his rationale? At least his first innings in the tournament suggested so.

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Pics: World Cup Day 1