Monty Noble, who captained Australia in 15 Tests in the first decade of the 20th century, once said of Victor Trumper, his schoolmate and then comrade in baggy green, that he would politely listen to advice and then go “his own sweet way”. A 100 years on, it’s a sentiment that resonates with Virender Sehwag, one of the most unlikely members of the 100-Test club.
It’s not that Sehwag doesn’t listen. It’s just that he knows what’s best for him. “My funda is very simple,” he said in an interview seven years ago. “Your natural game will take you places as long as you know how to make best of it.”
His childhood coach tried tying Sehwag’s leg to the nets, but Sehwag could never be fettered. In India, where he thrives, or in South Africa, where he has often struggled, he fronts up to the bowlers the same way. When he succeeds, there are seldom animated fist-pumps or gestures to the press box. When he fails, he tucks the bat under arm and walks off.