Both are attacking openers and are an asset for their teams, especially in the shorter formats of the game. Chris Gayle and Virender Sehwag have so much in common that it might actually be written in a book. But the difference between both of them lies in their attitude towards the game, and this is where I dare say that Sehwag has outclassed Gayle.
Gayle has been West Indies’ lifeline especially after the retirement of Brian Lara. West Indies need to win matches, and for that Gayle has always been under the pump to fire. And he has sometimes taken the pressure in his stride or succumbed to it. He has not won enough matches for his country and the reason clearly is his reluctance to change. The fact that he is 30 now; he is the team’s senior statesman, if not captain. He is the team’s best batsman, and so he has to play the role of the ‘Mr. Dependable’, without really tinkering around with his natural game a great deal.
Gayle may have a wonderful temperament, but his callous attitude and fitness is frustrating to see. He always wants to hit the ball out of the park by the ‘stand and deliver method’. The number of times it works only can be counted on our fingers. If Gayle fails, West Indies is demoralized to a certain extent and as a result a loss lingers.
On the other hand, Sehwag is 31 but has understood the importance of his wicket at the crease with experience. Though India has a strong batting line-up, Sehwag knows that he can be win more matches for his nation if he enjoys his batting a lot more by staying at the crease for a longer period of time. And the beauty of it is that he is still considered to be a threat to any bowling attack in the world, because he is not afraid to play his natural game. He has become wiser and mature and this World Cup has given birth to a new Sehwag, which is good for Indian cricket in the long run once Sachin Tendulkar calls it a day.
Gayle’s very similar in ways to Sehwag. Both rely on hand eye coordination so why is it that Sehwag seems to be more consistent than Gayle?
The Windies dasher must introspect, indeed, a lot can be learnt from Viru’s learning’s. After all, Sehwag too was in the same phase a couple of years back when he was dropped from the team. It’s made him a much wiser man now, benefitting team India eminently.
So change works after all and it is high time for some one like Chris Gayle to learn from Virender Sehwag and become more adaptable in his batting. Maybe that is one of the reasons why he was not picked for the IPL this time around!
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