Outside off stump. Leave it. Outside off stump. Leave it. Outside off stump. Leave it.
Do this until the ball loses its movement.
He sees the ball outside off stump. He goes after it. The edge goes to wicket keeper.
He sees the ball outside off stump. He flashes his bat. The catch is taken at point.
He sees the ball outside off stump. He hits hard. Ball races to fence.
He sees the ball outside off stump. He smashes it. Slips take the catch.
Others bat to survive. He bats to hit the ball.
Other have technique to withstand quality bowling. His technique is to destroy bowling attacks.
Chennai 2008. Fourth day. Sub-continent pitch. Mammoth target.
And he happens.
Drives. Strokes. Shots. Edges. Hits. Everything. For 102 minutes its mayhem. Pure carnage.
83 runs off 68 balls. From defeat or draw, it becomes draw or win. Within 102 minutes!
Melbourne 2003. First day. Against the best Test nation.
The Boxing day Test is really special. Double hundred in this special Test is even more special.
But he sees the part-timer. He sees the full toss. Others see 195.
He sees the long-on region. He sees six runs. Others see fielder at long-on.
The long-on fielder takes the catch. Its not double hundred. Its 195. For him, its a mishit.
Multan 2004. Historic tour of arch rivals.
Triple hundred is elusive in Tests. First triple hundred for country is even more elusive. And triple hundred against Pakistan in their home is,.. ehh, can’t get better.
Others see 295. He sees the spinner. He sees the mid-wicket region. He sees the connection.
There is connection. Ball is in the mid-wicket stand. The score is 300. For others it’s an achievement.
For him its a good connection.
Galle 2008. First day. Turning wicket. Mystery spinner.
Others only see the mystery spinner. The carom ball.
Others bow down to the unplayable bowler.
He sees the ball. He smashes the ball. He ridicules the spinner.
The team scores 329. He scores 200. Others see this as impossible.
See sees this as opportunity. He scores the opportunity.
One triple hundred is great. Two triple hundreds are legendary. Three triple hundreds are out of this world.
Others see this as once in a lifetime opportunity.
He sees the red leather ball. He hits the leather ball.
Others see 293. Others see 07 runs away from history.
He sees the flight. He sees the chance. The bowler takes the catch. Its over.
Others see waste of opportunity. He sees 293. That’s a good score.
Mohali 2011. World Cup semi-final.
Others see the biggest match of the World Cup. India Vs. Pakistan.
Others see pressure. Others see ‘high voltage drama’.
He sees the weakest bowling link. He sees the powerplay. He sees quick runs.
He smashes the bowler. Once. Twice, Thrice. Again and again.
Others see 5 fours in one over. Others see 48 runs in just 6 overs.
He sees a aggressive start.
Lahore 2006. Fifth day.
Others see world record for highest opening stand.
Another once in a lifetime chance.
He sees the bouncer. He sees the vacant field. He sees the chance.
Others see the wicket keeper take the catch. Others see a record being missed.
He sees a boundary being missed.
The others are trained to do this.
See the bowler. Study the situation. Adjust your game. And play.
He trained to do this.
See the ball. Hit the ball. Change the situation. Enjoy your game. And play.
There are batsmen. There are openers.
There is Virender Sehwag. The Virender Sehwag.
There is no difference. He is just a class apart.
And that is why –