London, Aug 18: For the first time in his Test career, Virender Sehwag is coming off the humiliation of bagging a king-pair. Had this ignominy not come on the back of a glistening career, his duty as Indian opener might very well have been in jeopardy. Furthermore, Viru is not known for giving in easily to adversity and will be salivating for a chance to not only build on a series' average of 0.00, but wreak vengeance on a bull-dozing English side.
Yet, the Nawab of Najafgarh should tread a tad cautiously on the track at the Oval, which is to feature the concluding Test of the English summer. He would be aware that he is in egregiously hostile territory and one that he hasn't quite been able to conquer. After all, in England his Test career batting average plummets from 52.85 to 29.62 and his strike rate slides from a fearsome 81.83 to 66.20. Incidentally, these statistic constitute his worst overseas' figures.
It is difficult when one's game is of a relentless belligerent nature to then temper one's impulses and adapt to a challenging, foreign turf. Further to one's detriment lies the fact that one's technique is not of the traditional, sound variety. But Sehwag should glean inspiration that he has repressed his shortcomings to produce a spectacular century at Nottingham in 2002.
That performance was one of true character as it defied Sehwag's trademark urge to simply let fly. Instead, he patiently and diligently coalesced his aggressive streak with a professional solidity that saw him chalk up 106 runs off 183 balls. But at the same time, he didn't compromise on his essence as an entertainer, smashing 18 fours along the way.
This is indeed the Sehwag that all those droves of Indian fans will be lining up to get a gander of. India desperately needs something to cheer about in this final Test of India's tour and Sehwag could be just the man to grace the spotlight and perhaps take centre stage.