What makes Sehwag, India’s once explosive opener, equally sharp on Twitter?

His brilliant satire is one with the acerbic humour Haryana’s Jats are famous for.

 |  5-minute read |   02-09-2016
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British journalist Piers Morgan ridiculed Indians for celebrating an Olympic silver and bronze. Virender Sehwag’s scathing ripostes to Morgan more than made up for the ridicule.

So what makes Sehwag, one of India’s most explosive openers, equally sharp and blazing in his wit?

piers-morgan_090216013626.jpg Piers Morgan bounced the ball back in Sehwag’s court with his repartee. Photo credit: India.com

Remember the almost cinematic, lively celebration of "Sehwag ki Ma" when the "Sultan of Multan" used to play? Seems that here too, the answer lies in the Sehwag household. The extended Jat family in which Sehwag grew up wasn’t one for the faint-hearted.

Among the various uncles and cousins in the Sehwag household, no one missed a chance to take a dig at the other. When it came to playful sarcasm within the family, none pulled their punches, and it was age no bar.

While the other youngsters in the family got high academic scores, Sehwag spent most of his time on the cricket field. Hence, he was the butt of jokes where exam results were concerned.

In an interview to The Indian Express last year, Sehwag revealed that the day the result of his class 10 board exam was announced, a huge crowd was waiting for him. When he got home, he would about 50 members of his large, extended family eager to know if he had flunked the exam. The baits and the barbs were awaiting him.

Sehwag learnt to take this all in his stride. He revealed in the interview that as he walked into the house, he threw his marksheet at the crowd, announcing that he had passed. Anybody who didn’t believe him could cross-check the document.

Sehwag, one of Team India’s most hard-hitting batsmen, wasn’t the one who could be slotted as a “thinking cricketer.” But he made those around him think about their game, and strive for excellence in their own way.

Even as India guffaws over Sehwag’s brilliant putdowns to Piers Morgan, in his game he has been known to be a man of few words. Cricket lore has it that in the strained final over of an IPL match, Delhi Daredevils pacer Umesh Yadav asked the Captain where he should bowl.

Chances are Yadav will always remember Sehwag’s terse response. “Bowler tu hai ya main? (Are you the bowler or me?)”

It is this no-nonsense attitude that the nation is discovering anew in Sehwag. The Jat is is celebrated for his witty one-liners and sparkling observations. With 6.64 million followers, Sehwag may be one of the most followed cricketers worldwide.

Trying to bait Sehwag, Piers Morgan finally tripped on August 30. He had to delete his tweet. It turned out that in his haste to trap Sehwag, Morgan didn’t check his facts.

The Twitter war between Morgan and Sehwag was started by Morgan. The British journalist mocked the huge celebrations in India, and the hero’s welcome accorded to Indians who won medals at the Rio Olympics.

On August 24, Morgan wrote on his Twitter handle:

The scornful putdown would have been difficult for most to counter. Not for Virender Sehwag, one of Team India’s most aggressive opening batsmen.

Sehwag punched back hard with his tweet.

The riposte was so brilliant that India’s loved playback singer Asha Bhonsle was among the first to fulsomely hail Veeru. The singer wrote on her twitter handle:

But the war of wits wasn’t over yet. Morgan bounced the ball back in Sehwag’s court with his repartee. He claimed that if Kevin Pietersen still been playing, England would have definitely won the World Cup.

Morgan tweeted:

Sehwag, who was hailed as ‘Sultan of Multan' after his triple ton in Pakistan in 2004, proved that he deserved the royal title for his brilliance both on and off-field.

Sehwag tweeted that Pietersen was originally from South Africa and not England. Also, Pietersen had played the 2007 Cricket World Cup, which England went on to lose.

This is what Sehwag tweeted:

The CNN presenter refused to back down and hastily posted a wrong tweet which he later had to delete.

On August 30, Morgan tagged Sehwag and tweeted:

Twitterati was quick to respond that India has won eight gold medals in hockey. Later, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra won a shooting gold.

Morgan later tweaked his post, saying:

Sehwag hasn’t responded to this bait yet. His tweet on August 30 was both cryptic and humorous.

Also read:"Let's admit it. Piers Morgan demolished Indian Twitter (and Chatan Bhagat)

Also read: Piers Morgan trolls for a dying people

Writer

Affan Yesvi Affan Yesvi @afanyesvi

The writer is a young social activist from Jammu and Kashmir.

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