Virender Sehwag Batting Performances in his Career
Published 10/20/2017, 9:50 AM EDT
The name “Sehwag” can be used as an metaphor for destruction. He was one of the most fearless batsmen of all time. Watching classic Virender Sehwag batting performances were the stuff of legend. He is known for his blistering and breathtaking knocks which were a treat to watch. Najafgarh ka nawab, Multan ka Sultan, Visfotak Viru are some of the names which are etched in our minds. People talk about footwork and other cricketing basics when it comes to batting, but it seemed that Viru had his own rulebook, in which the Index read-
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1> How to hit a boundary on the first ball
2> How to hit a boundary on the second ball
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Not to say the book follows a similar pattern. With minimal footwork and maximum intent, he had a inexorable quest for boundaries. Many questioned his technique, but his fans loved the way he played and thrashed the bowlers out of the park. He had a single gameplan which comprised of scoring runs as quickly as possible and that’s why he has piled Test runs at a much faster pace than anybody in the history of Test cricket. Normally bowlers fancy their chances against a hard hitting batsman, but in this case it’s just the opposite. It was Sehwag who never allowed the bowlers to settle and scored runs at will.
His retirement came as a shock to many people, but there is an end to everything. The bowlers will now breathe a sigh of relief and they might even ask ICC to declare 20th october as World’s Bowlers Day. Jokes apart, Sehwag has been a batsman of his kind, who entertained people to the maximum. His retirement marked the end of an era in Indian Cricket. He was the player who changed the dynamics of Cricket. Yes, Tendulkar is a Legend and will always be missed, but that list comprises of many other greats of the game. As far as Sehwag is concerned, there is only one list titled as “Carnage” and not to mention it contains only one name- Mr. Virender Sehwag. There weren’t any and there won’t be any because Sehwag is irreplaceable and unmatchable.
With this short intro, ES brings you the top performances by our very own Viru Paji on the day of his 39th Birthday.
Top 10 Virender Sehwag batting performances
10. 201* vs Sri Lanka, Galle
Not many people know that before this match Sehwag promised his team a double hundred. He has scored many gigantic hundreds but this one does feature among the best. On a spinner friendly track, Sri Lanka deployed two heavy cannons to keep a check on Indians. One was the all time great Muttiah Muralitharan and other the mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis.
After humiliating Indian batsmen time and again, Mendis had become an overnight star. India needed a saviour and Sehwag came to rescue. Against all odds he scored a magnificent double hundred and bailed his team out of danger. Spinners in particular were dealt severely. He scored 128 of his runs off the spinners; Mendis alone yielded 70 runs off 77 balls, including 3 sixes and five fours. It was a sublime knock and it seemed that he was playing on a different track altogether. It was a different knock. Far away from destruction, it was classy, cheeky, delicate and a committed knock which destroyed the Lankans silently.
125 vs New Zealand, Hamilton
Heard of a Merciless killer?
If not, go and watch the highlights of this match. Sehwag was at his very best and Hamilton witnessed an absolute carnage, as he blasted off the fastest ODI century by an Indian in just 60 balls, which helped India in securing their maiden one-day series triumph in New Zealand. In an innings filled with dazzling strokeplay, there was no respite for the bowlers. Daniel Vettori and the rest of the New Zealand bowlers were defenseless in the face of the onslaught and what had seemed a challenging target was chased down with ridiculous ease. Debutant bowler Thompson was taken away for 42 runs in his 4 overs. His economy rate of 10.50 is among the most expensive by a debutant.
151 vs Australia, Adelaide
This was Sehwag’s second Test after making a comeback into the team. This is among his most exhilarating innings. A poker-faced Sehwag was actually playing the frontfoot defense and that too in the fourth innings of a Test match. Before this match his average in the final innings of a Test, was 29 and not many expected this performance. He played a vital knock of 151 when the other established batting stars flopped. He showed that he can be a match saver apart from being a match winner.
“Sehwag batted brilliantly,” said Anil Kumble later. “He was really positive and played a fantastic knock.” Ricky Ponting admitted that Sehwag’s innings had effectively shut their hopes of victory. “With his innings, he started taking the game away from us. I thought we could have had a good time after lunch but the way Virender was batting didn’t allow us to.”
105 vs South Africa, Bloemfontein
This was Sehwag’s debut match and he made it count by scoring a century. In this very match Tendulkar became the fastest player to score 7,000 Test runs. He scored his 26th Test hundred, and his partnership of 220 runs with Sehwag turned the tables on South Africa. Interestingly, Sehwag nearly didn’t play the match. Sehwag’s dream debut and be indirectly credited to Harbhajan Singh. Bhajji fell ill on the eve of the match and Viru earned a promotion. It wasn’t a fairytale ending for him as India lost the match by nine wickets, but a century on debut did mean a lot and it set the path for many more hundreds.
254 vs Pakistan, Lahore
A colossal opening wicket partnership of 410 runs with Mr. Dependable Rahul Dravid was the highlight of this match. Dravid scored his first hundred as captain while Sehwag made full use of a feather bed to notch up another double century. Pakistan scored heavily in first innings as they declared on 679-7. India needed a solid start and this partnership ensured that no harm was done to the team. Though it fell 10 runs short of the world-record for the highest opening partnership of all time, set by Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy almost 50 years back against New Zealand at Madras, but Sehwag’s 254 were a treat to watch.
195 vs Australia, Melbourne
An entertaining innings which lasted for five hours and 12 minutes, Sehwag enthralled the crowd with his bold stroke play bringing 25 fours and five sixes. He was devastating in his approach and played by his instincts and not by the book. He missed a maiden Test double-hundred but his score of 195 was the highest by an Indian at the MCG. India surrendered in second innings as Australia won the Test match, but it was Sehwag’s brilliance that ensured a competitive first inning total for India.
293 vs Sri Lanka, Mumbai
Virender Sehwag pulverised Lankan bowling attack as he batted like the Arabian Sea at high tide. He rendered Sri Lankan bowlers helpless with some masterful strokeplay. Sri Lanka could manage only four maidens out of 79 painful overs. When he is in such form, it’s time to say goodbye to the bowlers. It’s a pity when class bowlers like Muralitharan are taken to the cleaners, but this is what makes Sehwag so dangerous.
The 2nd day of the Test match belonged entirely to Sehwag as he broke a string of records. He finished with 284, just 25 short of the all-time record for most runs in a single day, but it was the top score in a day in the last 76 years. 202 out of his 284 runs came in boundaries, which was an amazing 71%, just 36 shy of the World record for most runs in boundaries. He also broke the record for most Double centuries by an Indian. When Sehwag plays like that there is no stopping whatsoever.
219 vs West Indies, Indore
Sehwag became only the second batsman, after Sachin tendulkar to score a Double hundred in ODI. Interestingly it came in the 44th over which shows how ruthless he was in his approach. It was an opportunity of a lifetime for Sehwag and he grabbed it with both hands. In the ensuing onslaught, Sehwag scored 219 off 149 balls. It was a new record in one-day cricket and it set up India’s win by 153 runs.
“I am happy to have broken my role model Sachin Tendulkar’s record,” said Sehwag after the match. Another of those destructive batsman, Chris Gayle praised heaps of him as he tweeted-“Well I did watch some of that innings by Viru… Brilliant striking!! Congrats on your 219… That’s child abuse! [As] The Mask would say, Smoking!” Its sad that we will no more witness such breath taking knocks, but this one would surely remind us of our beloved Viru Paji.
319 vs South Africa, Chennai
Sehwag blazed to the quickest triple-hundred, as he took 278 deliveries to reach the mark. He joined Sir Don Bradman and Brian Lara on the list of players making two scores in excess of 300. Sehwag’s greatest strength, his ability to put away both the bad and not-so-bad balls, was in ample evidence during the innings. On a dead track he simply toyed with the South African attack as he clobbered the bowlers to all parts of the ground. As Virender Sehwag blazed his way to the fastest triple-century in Test history, Rahul Dravid was a patient onlooker at the other end. He termed the feat a “really audacious knock”. While others cried for the nature of pitch, Sehwag had only one parameter in mind- type of delivery. This was his third comeback Test and he came to the party in style.
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309 vs Pakistan, Multan
In his nine hour stay at the crease, Sehwag became the first ever Indian to score a triple hundred in Test match. Pakistan’s bowlers were listless and helpless, as he hit them to all parts of the ground. Pakistan bore full brunt of Sehwag’s bat as he broke the record for the highest individual score by an Indian batsman in Test cricket, surpassing VVS Laxman record of 281.
His childhood hero Sachin Tendulkar, who apparently missed a Double hundred by six runs, said that the innings was fabulous. Sachin said “I’m just glad he plays for our team. He can be a nightmare to play against. When you’re playing for Mumbai against Rest of India, you just hope that he doesn’t get going”. This innings earned him the title of “Multan ka Sultan” as it helped India to win the match by an innings and 52 runs.
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