Little men big in India

Updated: 2011-12-13 07:41

By Tym Glaser (China Daily)

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It must be tough to have the highest Test and one-day scores for your country, the only triple centuries (two), be tied for most double centuries (six) and still not be regarded as the best player on your own team!

However, that is the lot of Virender Sehwag, whose batting brilliance, no matter how bright it shines, still remains in the shadow of iconic teammate Sachin Tendulkar.

Little men big in India

Both batting geniuses are Indians, small in stature, quietly spoken and can tear any attack apart on any given day in Tests or ODIs. But that's where the similarities end.

The ridiculously prolific Tendulkar's Test and ODI run-making records might never be broken. The 38-year-old going on 28, from Mumbai, kills foes gently with shots that could only come out of the Book of Bradman.

Sehwag, who is five years Tendulkar's junior and hammered the West Indies for a record 219 ODI runs last Thursday, does talk softly, but he carries a mighty big stick and he hammers the enemy into submission.

There's a "wow factor" about the game of cricket, and over the past decade or so the likes of Tendulkar, fellow Indian Rahul Dravid, Australia's Ricky Ponting and South Africa's Jacques Kallis have performed brilliantly with bat in hand and mesmerized crowds - a Ponting pull, a Kallis cover drive or, well, any blinking shot that the Little Master felt like playing - but while they seem to be able to make runs in their sleep, they don't bring the "wow factor" to the crease like two other all-world players of this era - Brian Lara and Sehwag.

Left-handed Lara was cut from true West Indian cavalier cloth, but backed up his audaciousness with a true technique until his latter days in the game.

He only made one triple century, because his next best chance was spoiled when he made 400 not out, the highest Test score of all-time!

Sehwag is more similar to Lara than Tendulkar because they dance to the beat of their own bat tapping the crease.

Ponce de Leon obviously headed to the wrong continent in search of the Fountain of Youth as it is in India - not the Americas - and, more specifically, in Tendulkar's backyard.

When, or if, Sachin decides to hang 'em up, we will say "wow" about records perhaps forever beyond reach.

But, I say "wow" now every time the little man from Delhi strolls to the crease ... and I was almost "wowed out" last Thursday night.

Tym Glaser is a seniors sports copy editor who believes his Raiders have no chance in Hades of beating Green Bay on Sunday. He can be contacted at

(China Daily 12/13/2011 page23)