‘Seeing ball-hit-ball’ was too simplistic and perhaps even a lazy explanation to decode Virender Sehwag’s phenomenon as a drummer. Time and time again, during his 14-year international career, he has elevated this process into a complex art form. Much of her success could be attributed to superb hand-eye coordination.
Still, such a technique was fraught with inherent pitfalls, mainly due to its limited footwork.
As Sehwag progressed smoothly from age group cricket to consolidating his status as one of the most destructive openers in international cricket, coaches and seniors continued to remind him of this particular flaw in his game.
“There were many experts and cricketers in my early years of international cricket who used to point out my lack of foot movement, but none had plausible suggestions to rectify it,” recalled the 42-year-old when launching Cricuru, an experiential learning app aimed at redefining cricket training in the country.
After spending considerable time trying to change what he saw as a fundamental weakness in his stick, interactions with three former Indian players – namely Tiger Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth helped allay his fears.
“They told me that rather than thinking about my footwork, I should start hitting in the middle or out of the stump instead of taking my position on the stump of the leg. It helped me get closer to the ball. It improved my game, and they deserve the credit, ”Sehwag recalls.
According to the former opener, it was this singular advice that helped him fend off attacks from all corners of the world and rack up more than 8,000 tests. This invaluable nugget would also help to understand the role that coaches and seniors play during the formative years of budding international cricketers.
Similar case study
During the interaction with virtual media, the discussion turned to Prithvi Shaw – an extremely talented youngster who, despite his runaway hits in the 2021 Indian Premier League, finds himself out of favor in long-term cricket.
Like Sehwag, Shaw is also blessed with quick hands. However, lately he has tended to play too far from the body and stay grounded in his crease. What made his woes worse was his propensity to stay out of the leg stump in an attempt to deploy his exaggerated bat swing. As a result, it left a huge gap between the bat and the pad, which made Shaw a duck sitting against the moving ball.
Sehwag offered Shaw a simple piece of advice, something that had worked for him during his playing days. “Suno sabki, karo apni… take everyone’s advice, but only do what suits your game.”
More than six years after his international retirement, Sehwag has now teamed up with Sanjay Bangar, his good friend and former Indian team’s batting coach, in a new venture.
This is an artificial intelligence-based mobile web application called Cricuru, specially designed to help young people grasp the finer nuances of the game through masterclasses from big names such as AB de Villiers, Brett Lee, Brian Lara and Jonty Rhodes.
“The vision behind Cricuru is to provide access to cricket training for people living anywhere across the country, even Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, which can be easily accessed from the comfort of your own home. . With the increasing penetration of smartphones and the internet, it just makes it more accessible to aspiring cricket enthusiasts, ”Bangar explained.