Birmingham, Aug 11: Virender Sehwag was a man on a mission: to give India a blitzing innings' kick-off as he took guard for the crucial third Test against England. His veins were pumping ferociously and his nerves were in hyper-drive as he readied to mark India's resurgence in the series with a powerful opening. But the warm cheers that erupted in the predominantly Indian stalls were short-lived.
Today was not going to be an auspicious return to Test cricket for the Delhi dasher. Fans and spectators alike weren't going to see any of those flashing cover-drives, or slashing upper-cuts, or powerful heaves down the ground, or even the full-blooded hoicks over midwicket. Instead, whimpers and aghast faces looked on as the Nizam of Najafgarh was given out first ball!
Viru's 13th duck in Test cricket, a golden one at that, couldn't have come at a worse time. India were looking to up the ante on the English and give them a taste of their own medicine with a quick start to their innings. But an astute Stuart Broad had other plans on his mind. He was not going to open the second over of the day with a regulation outside-the-off-stump delivery.
Instead he got a length ball to cut in sharply. Ordinarily Sehwag would have attempted a cut or just drop his hands. But he was surprised with the smattering of extra-bounce that Broad has been using to destructive effect. And sure enough, the ball touched a crucial part of Sehwag's shape - a retracting glove which didn't fall low enough to avoid the ball. A review from the English team was enough to spell doom for Sehwag whose innings had ended in the most mortifying manner possible.