Sehwag’s influence is not merely winning matches for India. His mere presence in the team affects the way opposition thinks. No score is considered safe, no boundary is deemed too big, no bowler is seemed capable of dismissing him. He even forces his teammates to believe in themselves. After England set a stiff target of 387 on a deteriorating pitch in the 2008 Chennai Test match, no one in either side believed that an Indian victory is possible, except Sehwag. He came out all guns blazing to race to 83 in no time which included 11 fours and 4 sixes. After that carnage what India needed was a cool head on a stable shoulder and Sachin Tendulkar duly obliged with one of his masterpieces which he dedicated for the terror stricken people of Mumbai. But what made it possible was Sehwag’s cameo which made English shoulders to drop and Indian spirits to soar. Barring only Viv Richards, there has never been anyone like Sehwag who thrives on with each challenge however impossible it is. While Viv, with his brand of exuberant batsmanship, tried to emancipate the West Indian minds from colonial slavery, Sehwag tries to give wings to his own free soul.
Our cricketing lore has always been rich with batting greats. Even when the team was failing miserably we used to romanticize the deeds of our great batsmen. Only recently our team started to convert individual contribution to collective success consistently and Sehwag is inarguably one of the important cogs in that wheel of success. Shewag can be definitely bracketed with the elite company of CK Naydu, Lala Amarnath, Vijay Hazare, Gundappa vishwanath, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, though his relative impact to Indian cricket is open to debate. His position in the pantheon of Indian cricket’s batting greats is firmly in place and sky is the limit for this free-flowing explosive batsman. It takes some efforts to better a batting average of 54 and a strike rate of 81, but Sehwag will definitely be embracing that challenge with all the vigour, which promises exciting times indeed!