Virender Sehwag, the sprinter with a marathon runner's stamina

Virender Sehwag in his pomp was as natural as they come, the most uncomplicated of ball-strikers. While others swore by notions like 'giving the first session to the bowler', Sehwag did what his eyes told him to.

updated: September 27, 2013 15:34 IST
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More than six months after he last wore the India cap and just 24 days before his 35th birthday, Virender Sehwag took the first step on what he hopes will be the road back to the national side. He wasn't tentative either, smashing nine fours and a six in a 38-ball 59 for Delhi against India Blue in the Challenger Trophy. With most attention on the Champions League Twenty20, and quite a few eyes on India A's four-day match against West Indies A, it wasn't a performance to grab the back-page lead. It was a reminder, however, of how quickly we forget.

Three years ago, the Wisden Almanack named Sehwag Leading Cricketer in the World for the second year running. "Sehwag has to be first on the team-sheet to represent the World, whatever the game's format," wrote Scyld Berry, the Almanack editor at the time. "He would take on the Martians, however hostile and alien their attack, disrupting their lines and wavelengths; and, if he succeeded, as he normally does, he would make life so much easier for those who followed."

It wasn't the Challenger game that made me think of Sehwag though. It was a fascinating ABC interview with Arthur Morris, now 91, and a member of Sir Donald Bradman's 1948 Invincibles. If you can spare the time, make sure you listen to it. Unlike many modern-day player interactions centered on cliches, platitudes and plugs for sponsors, this is an interview of genuine substance, with an all-time great unafraid to speak his mind.

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