India Cricket

Veeru Plays His Favourite Stroke, But Tendulkar Sachin Keeps His 200—For Now

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - FEBRUARY 19:  Virender Sehwag of India bats during the opening game of the ICC Cricket World Cup between Bangladesh and India at the Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium on February 19, 2011 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
Rajshekhar MalaviyaCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2011

They searched high and low. Looked up to the gods, made frequent bowling changes, altered field placements feverishly the way a sometimes nervous Nasser Hussain used to.

But the answers weren't forthcoming.

They got Tendulkar Sachin early and celebrated. Yes, seeing the little master's back is a delight for a fielding side, always, but that exit only worsened the situation for the hapless Bangladeshis.

They hadn't reckoned with a Virender Sehwag who was determined to make his pronouncement of batting for 50 overs count.

Yes, he fell a couple of overs short, playing a tired shot, but only after closing all the doors on Bangladeshis who were itching to repeat the story of the 2007 World Cup.

Virat Kohli hit his maiden century, but was only the second lead last evening. Gautam Gambhir's run-a-ball 39 was a bit role in this story which had only one hero. A hero who lorded over the game like few can.

It was only Sehwag who could summarize the innings he played in the Cricket World Cup opener.

What he said at the post-match interview to Ravi Shastri about this being a revenge game, and his assessment of Bangladeshis as challengers, was a telling comment on the attitude with which he approached this game.

An ominous comment too, for the other teams that will come his and India's way over the next 40 days and a bit.

And that brings me to Veeru's favourite stroke. It's called disdain.

It was in full display during yesterday's game and the Indian fans would wish that it stays that way throughout the tournament.

The bowling didn't matter. The one and only critical fact was how it was going to be played.

I urge Veeru to teach this stroke to all his teammates. That's one sure way India will bring the cup back after the historical triumph of 1983.

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