Judging bŷ the pace at which Virendra Sehwag, the swash buckling Indian opener is talking after his voluntary retirement he could could turn out to be the most in demand speaker in the months to come.
In India where everyone, including the media follows the herd mentality, any one who speaks in favor of the Indian captain MS Dhoni after the series loss to South Africa today must be a maverick.
But Sehwag did just that and does he care? In an interview he has stated that Dhoni must continue as the captain of the Indian cricket team till the World Cup otherwise the team is doomed. It is quite in fashion today to speak of handing over the reins to young Virat Kohli and most retired cricketers and sports writers, with notable exceptions like Sunil Gavaskar rooting for Dhoni. But then Sehwag is Sehwag.
As in his batting where he believed in looking at the ball rather than the reputation of the bowler opposite him, he believes in speaking out his mind without bothering about the impact it creates in the country.
In his latest interview he also lays to rest a lot of controversies about Dhoni and him not sharing good vibes by saying that Dhoni had no role in dropping him from the team and it was all a media creation.
When asked about Ganguly’ statement that he could not have been dropped without the captain’s consent he asserts that it must have been true in Ganguly’s time. Today the selectors have the final say in the matter.
At the same time Sehwag does not back out from his statement after winning the world cup that the entire credit should not be given to the captain but the whole team.
In an earlier statement Sehwag had once stated that he never bothered whether he was playing in his nineties or had just opened the innings. If the ball deserved to be hit for a six he would hit it there, much to the amusement of the media.
Post his retirement on his 37th birthday Sehwag continues to talk as he played and one can expect a lot more bouncers thrown at him to be converted to sixers as he is invited for talks on cricket, the most favorite topic of conversation in the country after cinema and politics not necessarily in that order.
And when faltering he can always look up to the the other Jat hero Kapil Dev who is not scared of throwing bouncers even at the God of cricket for many, Sachin Tendulkar.
By Amitabh Srivastava