Mon, 19 Oct 2009 21:55:05 GMT | By Vineet Sharma

A tribute to Virender Sehwag on his 31st birthday.

When Sehwag bats a loo-break is simply out of question! In a space of few overs Sehwag can hammer bowlers and take the game away from the opponents or in just moments he can play an unnecessary shot and gift his wicket away. In short-Sehwag at the crease is like an edge-of-the-seat thriller. You never know what will happen next. A power player with a penchant to strike the ball 24/7; Virender Sehwag is a like a ticking time-bomb, waiting to explode at the slightest sign of a cricket ball.

A tribute to Virender Sehwag on his 31st birthday.

The one moment that explained Virender Sehwag came during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne on India's 2003-04 tour to Australia. Sehwag had belted the Australian bowlers and reached to an imposing 195 runs; a double hundred was in sight; then Simon Katich served up a full toss and Sehwag hit the ball straight to the fielder at long-on.

Most batsmen when faced with a similar situation would have taken a cautious approach, but not Sehwag. It's just not the way Sehwag has been wired. If there is something to be hit, Sehwag makes sure that it is hit. No half-measures for him. There is certain fearlessness behind his methods at the crease, a fearlessness that stems from confidence. A simple batting technique backed by an uncluttered mind is what makes Sehwag a success.

When Virender Sehwag first burst on to the international cricket, he was compared to his mentor and idol Sachin Tendulkar. From a distance Sehwag almost looked like Sachin; same stance and almost the same build. But that is as far as the similarity between the two goes.

In an era when Tendulkar was busy deciphering whether to go on full attack or play the more cautious 'veteran' role; Sehwag batted like Sachin did in his younger days; carefree and ready to put the bowlers under pressure, right from ball one.

Sehwag hit a stunning debut hundred against South Africa in Bloemfontein, but it was India's tour of England in 2002 that was in many ways a pivotal point in his career. In the first Test at Lord's Sehwag opened the batting for the first time in Test matches and hit a quick-fire 84 in 96 balls. In the next Test at Nottingham he curbed his offensive style and compiled his first Test century as an opener.

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