Tag Archives: sehwagology

Experiencing Sehwag

There is a flash. It’s up and over a bunch of slips, maybe a gully, and a third man. The ball just disappears up, out of sight, before dropping over the rope. The third man is puffing hard, but this wasn’t for him. There is a frustrated, faceless bowler, an unspecified ground and a generic captain rubbing his forehead.

As it happens you can hear whispers of the batsman being compared to Sachin. But that is unfair. This is something different.

There are some things that shouldn’t be explained. Maybe that’s why we don’t get Victor Trumper. We search for answers, facts, numbers and reasons. For some people that doesn’t work; you have to see them, feel them. They are part of a time and place you don’t get. You are not meant to understand what they stood for, just know that it was something special through all the witnesses.

Yet, even when you weren’t there, you had no context, no visuals, no memories, no experience; he could still move you. Sometimes it was the actual numbers alone. Just starting at a scorecard, there was an experience of him that just grabs you. The man who wore no number, could with a simple 200 out of 330, give you a sudden rush of blood, that slight, magical dizzy feel of something you can’t quite explain.

There are some who say he only makes runs on Asian flat tracks. It feels like abusing a painter for preferring to use canvas instead of wanting to paint a live shark. What he created with the flat tracks was unlike what anyone else would, or could. There were times when he scored that it felt like Asia had been created just so he would have this stage.

There is a flash over the leg side. It’s a drop-kick, a pick-up, a smack. The bowler is just an extra, a vessel. The ball goes over a rope, a fence, some spectators, a hill. It hits a scoreboard. Maybe it goes over it. Maybe it disappears into the distance. Maybe it explodes the scoreboard like you see in them Hollywood baseball films. The whole thing happened like it was preordained, like it was supposed to happen that way, and that time, for some secret reason.

He just stands there. Looking generally disinterested. People around the world are yelling, jumping, screaming, laughing. Mouths are wide open, jaws are on the floor. But he doesn’t react that way. He almost never does.

There is a flash outside off. The bat has missed the ball. Yet the same general look of disinterest and calmness he has after a boundary follows a play and miss. Other days he uses the same smile after his best shot, or his worst.

Playing and missing is supposed to be a test of who you are as a human being. Do you believe in luck, do you believe in hard work, do you believe in faith? In his case, none of these applied. As to whether the ball went into a scoreboard, into a crowd, onto a roof, or safely nestled in the keeper’s gloves, it was gone. Finished. That moment, that euphoria, that danger, doesn’t matter anymore. The greatest legcutter, the sexiest doosra, or a mystery ball fired from a cannon, it doesn’t matter. It could be a long hop. A full toss. It just goes past him. When you bowled to him, you weren’t bowling to a batsman; you were bowling to a belief system.

There was comfort in his madness. Others have stopped, slowed, changed, restricted, just to survive, to thrive, to score all that they could score. Not him. Maybe he just couldn’t slow down, couldn’t hold back. He was what he was, a wild animal of batting.

There is a flash through point. It seems to exist on his bat and at the boundary at the same time. It was a cut but could have been a drive. They all went the same way, just as fast. Before the commentator has had time to react, the bowler has placed his hands on his head or the crowd is fully out of their chairs, the ball’s journey has been completed.

Maybe it’s Chennai. Maybe it’s Melbourne. Maybe it’s Lahore. Maybe it’s Galle. Maybe It’s Steyn. Maybe it’s Akhtar. Maybe it’s McGrath. Maybe it’s Murali. It’s all too quick. He’s already moved on.

There are people who say he is just a slogger. That’s a misunderstanding of slogging. Sloggers throw the bat recklessly without a method or a base. They always run out of luck, out of time, are found out. This was Zen slogging. He has a slogger’s energy, a batsman’s eye, and a tranquil mind. It’s an odd combination. It shouldn’t work. It didn’t always.

But when it did, the innings was something that changed things. He could, when applied correctly, change the future. At other times, it was as if he could predict it. And if he didn’t change the future of batting, he, at the very least, foretold it.

There are batsmen you can explain. You can unravel their magic; paint it for others to see. But he was above explanation. You couldn’t unravel what he did, you simply had to reclassify it. His batting wasn’t from the manual. It wasn’t like the others.

If anything, it was a self-help manual, a religious text, wrapped up in cover drives. A road map for better living was right there in the middle of the ground. Play your shots, forget your mistakes, forget your success, keep playing your shots. Believe. Sehwagology.

There is a flash back past the bowler. There is someone, somewhere, stating that it is impossible to play that shot, from that ball. Someone else, somewhere else, is comparing him to another batsman. There is another someone, somewhere online, typing out their theory on his flaws. But at the ground their words get drowned out in applause – not applause, a cacophony of screaming.

There is a flash. A sudden burst of bright light. A brief display of joy. A moment. An instant. Virender Sehwag.

Tagged ,

Dreaming of Sehwagology

I hadn’t slept in 36 hours. My body was acting independent of my mind, which in turn was discovering new colours as the alcohol in my system swam around unprocessed.

I was perfectly set up to hallucinate.

But I didn’t.

Virender Sehwag, our glorious leader, prophet and opening batsman, made sure I didn’t need too.

A square drive went off the middle of the bat to the rope even though there was no obvious middle that you could see.

A pull shot off a length that just disappeared from view.

A cover drive that seemed to have been a last minute thought that no West Indian seemed to see.

It was a living dream, it was floating around me, Natalie was his batting partner who was getting singles to get off strike, the O’Death’s fiddle player was umpiring and the commentators were Victor Mancini  and Luke Rhinehart.

In your mind, it was all different I am sure.

That’s the magic of Sehwag, we all see it different even we when all see it the same.

And his collection of Sehwag smiles, could light up Chicago, or burn down Adelaide.

Oh, how he smiled.

We all smiled.

Anyone who saw that innings put down the razor, hid the rat poison, and put the handbrake on.

If you were in the middle of wiping out a small ethic group, you’d let them hug their children by dipping them in lye.

Serial killers carved smiley faces, similar to that cheeky grin that Sehwag had, into the corpses of their latest conquest.

And, it was only an ODI.

Generally, Sehwagology doesn’t really change the world for a limited overs match.

That said, Sehwagology is not just a Sunday only service.

The man preaches when he wants, and even if you aren’t ready, don’t want to hear it, or are busy, it still gets to you.

It’s sehwagology, bitches.

Take it, rub it on your body, make love to the world.

Do it with a smile. Several smiles.

Choose Sehwagology.

Tagged

a song of the first test

One of my many plans of cricket media domination has been to sing songs based on test matches.

Due to time constraints and not wanting to put you through that, it’s never quite happened.

Luckily, like test match sofa and the cricket couch podcasts, someone else has stepped into the void.

The blog Deep Backward Point is here to sing you a test in a song, it would be rude not to listen.

This may be one of the first songs ever written about Sehwagology.

One day this song will be referenced in a history show about how Sehwagology started.

Tagged ,

I am Sehwag

I don’t often do extracts from others on this site, but when I read this story on India and Cricket by Wright Thompson, I just felt the need to show it to you. It’s one of the best pieces I’ve ever read, on anything.

Since it is about 10,000 words, I won’t put it all here, but if you like this, you should definitely read the rest.

I am Sehwag.

As Sachin grew up watching Sunil, Sehwag grew up watching Sachin. He saw Sachin’s aggressive stance. He took what he saw, internalized it and spat out something new, something dangerous, even. There’s a reason some old-school fans find him vulgar, and Deepak screams his name.

Where does something like that come from?

We leave Deepchand’s house and drive toward the airport, past the endless storefronts featuring posters of bodybuilders. Strength is in. Out on the edges of Delhi, huge apartment buildings stretch to the horizon. Ugly concrete boxes, row after row of them. If Bruce Springsteen were from India, he’d sing about these streets. There are things being built here. There are things being torn down. A shepherd drives a flock of sheep down the road, turning them into a weedy lot, the proposed site of a cultural center. He wears a red turban, carries a staff.

Sehwag grew up in these badlands. He saw Sachin through the prism of the gritty world around him, looking past the grace to the power. Before Sehwag, Indian opening batsmen were supposed to take the shine off the ball. That’s the cricket phrase. Take the shine off. Break it in. Wear down the bowler. Sehwag would take the shine off by going for fours and sixes. He got a reputation for dogging it on singles. And if Sachin gave birth to Sehwag, then a whole group of younger sluggers have taken it a step further. At least Sehwag still plays Test cricket. Some newer stars don’t.

The Indian team is a blunt object, 15 men created not in the image of Tendulkar, exactly, but in the image of the new India that he both inspired and represented. Sachin carried the team alone in the ’90s, but in the past decade a generation of hyperaggressive Indian stars came of age. Former captain Sourav Ganguly ripped off his shirt and twirled it above his head on the balcony of the uptight Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. They are celebrities now. They frighten opposing bowlers. They themselves are not afraid. Two years ago, the team changed its jerseys from powder blue to a deeper color. It seemed less meek.

I am Sehwag.

“The aggression, the brashness,” says Bhattacharya, the cricket writer turned novelist. “It’s now something which Indians see that this is what we have to do to assert our place in the world. We’ve been f—ed over for thousands of years. Everyone has conquered us. Now we’re finding our voice. We’re the fastest-growing economy in the world. We are going to buy your companies. Our cricket team is like going to f—ing abuse you back, and we’re going to win and we’re going to shout in your face after we win. People love that.”

We turn on Najafgarh Road. Shop workers give us directions. Everyone knows The Butcher. In the midst of this urban blight, there is a single planted field. This all used to be farmland. Now there are big piles of sand, the dust of something old waiting to become something new. White smoke rises from burning trash. Mechanics fixing motorcycles on the sidewalk tell us to take a right at the feeble old tree past the shrine to the monkey god.

This is Sehwag’s street.

When his father died, the neighbors tell us, he moved his mother to a nice place in central Delhi. Other family members live in the house now. There, they point. That’s his aunt. The home is down an alley, where Sehwag used to pound cricket balls. “He was always a long hitter,” a man says.

The house has a big black gate and a bamboo fence to offer privacy for the patio. There’s an orange lantern and a rooftop terrace. It’s the middle-class home that Deepchand dreams of for his family. This is the home of a grain merchant who moved to the city from a village, wanting to build a new life.

Sachin is the son of a poet.

Sehwag is the son of man who sold wheat and rice.

Tagged , , ,

For Sehwagology the bell tolls

This morning I was sleeping while Sehwag was giving a rabble rousing sermon with some assistance by the former test nation from New Zealand.

That is ok, I think of all the prophets, in all the religions, I doubt there is any who respect sleep more than Sehwag.

Also I believe I have enough Sehwagology in my life.  Sure, another sermon would be fun and fulfilling, but I’m all good.

However, as rich politicians always say, there are a lot of people out there doing it tough, and perhaps they needed a bit of a help from Sehwag.

Now if they saw this innings, it’s all good, but if not, they’ve just missed out on an injection of life. A pure hit of adrenaline straight into their eyeballs. Which sounds much worse than it is.

With a whole world of Sehwagolosists out there, some of them are going to miss his best work. It doesn’t have to be this way.

What we need is some sort of system to inform everyone.

At first I thought an iphone app, then I was told that several billions of people don’t have iphones, and the truly under privileged don’t even have a blackberry.

Then I thought of automated phone calls.  It was then pointed out that it wouldn’t work because of the sheer number of people who need sehwagology, and the limited phone connections in rural backwaters like New Texas.

Luckily I had a moment of inspiration inspired by the mother of Curtly Ambrose.

Ring the bell.

All Sehwagologists should carry bells with them, and have bells installed in their homes, so they can ring the bells when Sehwag is on the rampage.

Imagine it, you’re having a snooze in the afternoon, looking for autoerotic asphyxiation porn, in a business meeting or studying calculus and suddenly you hear multiple bells ringing.  You turn on whatever device you get your cricket from and listen, watch or read what Sehwag is giving you.

It means that you’ll probably never miss another important Sehwag innings in your life.

Plus Sehwagologists can be known as the bell ringers.  Which, as far as cults go, is not the shittest name ever.

Ring that bell, people, ring it fast and reckless.

Tagged , ,

Live Sehwagology

Today I saw paradise, heaven and Johnny Cash’s tour bus.

And I saw it all live.

I could smell buddha, touch jesus and share an iced cream with muhammad.

I was skating with angels.

All of this happened in a wonderful place called Dambulla.

The pitch was sticky, the batsmen tentative, and the bowlers on top.

That was until our hero walked in.

That plump little man without a number on his back.

While others tried to bat, he batted.

It was as if he knew one of most devout the sehwagologists was there, and he reached out and touched me.

That is what Sehwag does, he reaches out and touches people, hard.

I could feel his pulsating talent all over me, and so could many others.

If you are a sehwagologist and you’ve seen him fail in real life that means you don’t believe enough.

It means that as a sehwagologist you are struggling.

You’re running tight singles, leaving balls you should be smashing and you aren’t just seeing ball and hitting ball.

Ofcourse, I am not a perfect Sehwagologist either.

I could have seen this balding prophet make his hundred, but something held me back.

Perhaps I’ll never know what it was, but he knew, and thusly he remained on 99*.

It was an important lesson, and one I will treasure.

It meant, you are close, but you don’t quite get it yet, come see me when you do and I’ll make a hundred so good you’ll need three pairs of spare undies.

Today I saw the right way to live through the eternal flame of awesomeness that is Sehwag’s batting.

Life can be tough, he showed us this, but you can still be better than everyone else just by following his teachings.

Now, go, love, fuck, hug and do everything that sehwag has taught us.

You can never go wrong, if you follow his batting.

Tagged ,

Sehwag proves Quantum Mechanics

Not everyone wants to believe in Quantum mechanics. In order to believe it you have to forget everthing you have ever believed and start boring your friends.

Most people just can’t be assed.

Until yesterday I thought Quantum Mechanics was the biggest load of wank outside of healing crystals.

Now I do not.

And yet again it is our leader of Sehwagology who showed me the way.

Today he cut down the Saffas again.

It was Sehwagology at its best, he was batting in warp speed for a while, then he took a break, before amping up and making the Saffa bowlers look silly.

JP Duminy would not be a popular man tonight (Can’t bat, can’t catch, can bowl).

At one stage Morne Morkel bowled what seemed at the time to be an innocuous short ball wide of off stump, but I should know by now that when watching Sehwag no ball is insignificant.

This ball was cut to the fence.

The story could end there, except that Sehwag is something else.

When his bat hit the cut shot, the ball was on his bat and at the fence, simultaneously.

He hit the ball so hard that he proved a pseudo science true.

Quantum Mechanics (if the film What the bleed do we know kept me awake long enough for me to learn anything) means that things can and are in two places at once.

I don’t know all the details, as Marlee Matlin’s beret was the real philosophical question I remember from that film, but Sehwag definitely had the ball on his bat and on the fence at the same time.

Sorry to blow your mind with this.

People who believe in quantum mechanics usually end up really annoying people at parties, but if Sehwag deemed it important enough to show us, who am I to hide it from you.

I was thinking of renaming it Sehwachanics, but that would be shit.

Enjoy the new world.

Tagged , , ,

Sehwagology celebrates this day

To me this is a pretty special day.

The first day I am a printed published author.

Obviously some very special men thought it was a special day as well.

To celebrate this event the GOD Sehwag hit 146 off 102 balls.

Considering our prophet never hardly ever makes runs in one dayers, it is quite clear that he did this in support of me, his loudest cleric.

But it didn’t stop there, is padawan learner Dilshan also stepped in and 160 off 124 came.

That would have been enough.

Two sehwagologists slaying bowlers on this demon of a pitch to celebrate my book.

There was one more surprise though, one more player had something to say.

And not just any player, but the King, King Kumar.

Not a sehwagologist, but a man so cool that watching him bat is like drinking lemonade on a hot day.

He came out and put the cherry on top of the cherries with 90 off 43.

Wow.

I am stunned guys.

I don’t know what to say.

Thank you all very much.

Praise Sehwagology.

And as an extra special miracle the book is now available on flipkart. Sort of.

Tagged , , ,

293 is better than what you can do

Sure we’re disappointed.

We wanted our prophet to take us into the promise land.

But he gave us 293 reasons to be joyful.

There were dirty slogs, vicious cuts, effortless heaves, tactical drives, fairy floss guides, flat bat fuck offs, arrogant reverses and every kind of shot you needed to see.

And think of the extra tension he brought us by just being in over night.

The hope.

The anticipation.

The lust.

It is even possible that he was teaching us a lesson.

We all got ahead of ourselves; we were looking at 300, 401, 502 and drooling.

Maybe he just went, “let me teach them patience”.

Lesson learned.

While I am heartbroken he went out, and fucken tired it is 4AM here, I feel honoured to have stayed up all night to see an innings like this expire.

Thanks for yesterday.

Tagged , ,