Without fear, Viruís come into his own

It would be easy to image Virender Sehwag as a pirate, terrifying genteel passengers on a cruise liner with his weapons and his audacity. Picture the bandana, the cutlass coming down with the speed of a bat clobbering a ball past mid-on! Pity then that he has the look of a genial halwai from Chandni Chowk, chubby cheeks and an enduring tussle with his girth, enjoying his jalebis as much as he does serving them; never too far from a smile and, as we now know, from the odd wink as well!

New Zealand's bowlers might think he is a bully, riding roughshod over them and trivialising their offerings. But he isn't a bully either because all bullies are, inherently, cowards shying away when someone bigger comes along. Over the last eight years, Sehwag has taken on the quickest in demanding circumstances and sometimes he has won and sometimes he has lost. But he is willing to take on the bowlers and the conditions, not afraid to lose, and that is not a quality bullies possess!

There is a secret to his fearlessness, a trait that resides in all those who are happy to live with risk; or indeed risk as most of us perceive it. Sehwag is not afraid of getting out. It doesn't mean he is lackadaisical or that batting is a reckless, momentary pursuit. It is just that his mind is free from the fear of defeat.

And as most of us would have seen in our own lives, the moment we contemplate defeat, we open our doors to it. I'm sure he is aware, like most of us are, that in the pursuit of success, failure is always a neighbour, a by-stander waiting to jump in. But the more we look sideways at this neighbour, the less we look ahead. Sehwag has this extraordinary ability to let failure jump in from time to time but not worry too much about it.

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