Cricinfo: West Indies v India 2006
CricinfoWest Indies v India v 2006

2nd Test: Day 5 - West Indies v India at St Lucia, 10-14 June 2006 [ Scorecard ]
Top Performer of the match:
Sehwag signals his ominous intent

The match may have ended in an unlikely draw for India, merely another add-on to the list of missed opportunities in Tests abroad, but the one player who can afford to smile at his own performance is Virender Sehwag, who quashed all talk of a seaming pitch with a blistering 180 in the first innings, stumping the experts who had a few eyebrows raised after Rahul Dravid called correctly and opted to bat. He can afford a chuckle for another reason too, when he turned it on with his bowling, though one would have to ask the man himself if he ever dreamt of playing the role of the second spinner, partnering none other than Anil Kumble.

It.s strange now to imagine that not too long ago, the nation was worried about Sehwag. The fluency was missing, and the time spent at the crease dwindled each time he walked out. His knock of 95 in the ODI at St Kitts sparked off a revival, and it was inevitable that a big one was round the corner. A nonchalant glide to the backward point fence in just the fourth ball of the match was a sign of things to come. Good length deliveries were spanked with such regularity that even a five-prong pace attack which West Indies had was never going to trouble him. Sehwag later admitted that contrary to expectations, he read it correctly as a slow pitch, deliberately standing outside the crease to enable the ball to come on to the bat easily. The one bowler at the receiving end of the bashing was Dwayne Bravo. Sehwag found the pace to his liking, carting him for 20 runs off one over, with two huge sixes over long-off and long-on respectively. A record-breaking century before lunch was there for the taking, and the disappointment was writ on his face when he fell short by a solitary run. That aside, Sehwag can be proud of the fact that his century of 78 balls is the eleventh fastest in Test history, and set the tone for India.s mammoth first-innings score of 588 for 8.

Sehwag.s bowling too was a revelation, with the amount of turn and bounce he was able to extract. In Harbhajan Singh.s absence, Sehwag troubled the batsmen enough in both games, rattling the tail with three wickets in the first innings. When asked about his bowling exploits, he responded that his strategy was mainly to contain the batsmen with maiden overs, prompting rash strokes and bagging wickets in the process. The sight of Sehwag smiling broadly, sharing a bit of banter with one of the umpires, is a clear sign that he is enjoying his game like never before.

2nd Test: [ Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 5 | Performer of the match ]

Archive: [ ODI 1 | ODI 2 | ODI 3 | ODI 4 | ODI 5 | Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 ]

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