Sehwag defies the odds, as is his wont

Sehwag defies the odds, as is his wont

Delhi dasher puts slowness of Kotla surface in perspective

It wasn’t the first time he was doing it and Sunday’s blitzkrieg against Wayamba Elevens won’t be the last. On a pitch where playing strokes hasn’t been the easiest of tasks, Sehwag produced a knock that mocked the widely perceived view.

It’s not that no one before Sehwag has been able to get amongst runs here. There was Simon Katich’s 63 in the first match and then there were Philip Hughes’ 62 and Moises Henriques’ 51 on Sunday against Sussex, but where the other batsmen’s innings were dictated by the prevailing conditions, the Delhi Dasher instead dictated terms.

There is, however, no running away from the fact that the newly-laid square at the Feroze Shah Kotla is still a slow and low one.  Despite getting to 51 in just 33 balls, Henriques almost looked frustrated as he failed to take a single boundary in the last four overs against Sussex. “It is difficult to start off but you just have to scramble on to begin with and get to the other end,” he said while advocating the importance of playing straight on such a slow pitch.

 “You have to try and present the bat as much as possible, hit it straighter and avoid the horizontal bat shots.” It’s unlikely that Sehwag would have heard any of Henriques’ words before going out to bat but by the time he finished his innings, it had, along with Dinesh Kaarthick’s swashbuckling 61, forced the other players to think beyond the 22 yard strip.

Sussex stand-in skipper Ed Joyce was cleaned up by Brett Lee with the first ball he faced and he agreed the pitch was quite low but hastened to add that he was not offering any excuses.

“It (the pitch) was same for both sides so you just got to get on with it. The best team generally wins and NSW were the best team today,” he remarked. Victoria skipper Simon Katich too talked of the necessity to adapt to the conditions while his team-mate David Hussey felt there was no end to batsmen’s greed. “You always want more runs, especially as a batsman,” pointed out the middle-order batsman.

“I reckon it's a great wicket and a great spectacle to see how different batters adapt to the situation and score different runs. Delhi played unbelievably well last night. “Sehwag showed everybody how to play on a difficult wicket and I know all the Victoria boys got a lot out of watching him and hopefully we will be able to replicate his effort,” he reasoned. If emulating Sehwag was only that easy!