Watched the beginning of the fourth India/WI one-day match last night. I think I'm finally convinced of two things. I don't like the way Virender Sehwag bats, and I don't think he has got his mind to grasp the one-day game.
Second point first. Sehwag is a fantastic talent. What else can you say about a man with the remarkable Test average of 52, scored at a strike-rate of 75; with 7 of his 11 centuries soaring past 150, and a triple-century in there?
You can say that he just hasn't done justice to his talent in one-dayers. After 150 matches -- by when he really should have established himself -- he has the mediocre average of 32. It's been over a year since his last century, almost a third of his career ago. As many have noticed, he's getting the starts -- the 20s, the 30s -- but he rarely converts them into the big scores. (Actually his average has never got much higher than 32 anyway).
And after 150 matches, you have to conclude that the mediocrity is a mental thing. Something about playing one-dayers weighs on his mind.
He might benefit, as his current captain once did, from a spell off the team.
First point second. What appeals to me in cricket, apart from the truly fast and furious bowlers, are the guys with the classic batting styles. Dravid's leaned drives and that rocked-back cut, Mark Waugh's short armed square cuts with an almost vertical bat, Lara's extravagant and audacious pulls -- and his fabulous footwork -- even Suresh Raina's smooth caresses.
On the other hand, I never found Azhar's and Laxman's famous wristiness particularly attractive, nor Tendulkar's punchy shots, and certainly not Sehwag's swishes and whacks. I mean, these are all great batsmen. I just don't find their batting particularly attractive to watch.
Sehwag, least of all. Talented he may be, hand-eye coordination and all that, but the man is such an ugly strokeplayer. Watching him, I quickly lose track of how often he stays rooted to the crease and sort of hacks at the ball. His coordination is so good that he usually gets his runs with those shots. But they are ugly nevertheless.
The Jim Courier of cricket, he might be: great player, wins a lot, powerful strokes. But nothing attractive about those strokes.
And I wonder if the unattractiveness has anything to do with the poor run of one-day scores.