Home > Features >

If there is one serious competitor for Sehwag, it’s Sehwag himself!

"When Viv Richards retired, I thought it was the end of entertainment. But then came Sehwag, the King of Entertainment. Long live the King!"That was how Ramiz Raja paid tribute to Sehwag's epic innings at Indore © Getty Images
“When Viv Richards retired, I thought it was the end of entertainment. But then came Sehwag, the King of Entertainment. Long live the King!”That was how Ramiz Raja paid tribute to Sehwag’s epic innings at Indore © Getty Images

By Karthik Parimal

Before the start of the fourth One-Day International (ODI) at Indore, there must have been a mildly feeling of uneasiness in the Indian camp and Indian cricket fans concerning the opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. The duo got off to decent starts more often than not in the recent past, individually and collectively, but failed to convert those starts into big scores. The explosive side of Sehwag went into hibernation after his scintillating knock of 175 against Bangladesh in India’s very first outing at the 2011 World Cup. Gambhir’s last significant innings too came almost eight months ago – in the final of that memorable World Cup. Since then, the journey hasn’t been smooth and easy for both Sehwag and Gambhir.

Despite scoring few half-centuries in the recently-concluded Tests against the West Indies, Sehwag did not look his flamboyant best coming into the ODI series. His scores of 20, 26 and 0 in the first three ODIs respectively weren’t reassuring. It was important for him to make a significant contribution with the bat before boarding the plane to Australia. Not many would disagree with the notion that whenever Sehwag hits a lean patch, he often needs just one good innings to regain his lost form and explosive approach, and fortunately for India, he found more than just runs and his lost form during the Indore ODI. He achieved a monumental feat by going past Sachin Tendulkar to register the highest individual score in ODI history – 219 off just 149 balls.

It isn’t surprising to note that majority among the cricket fraternity had backed the Nawab of Najafgarh to be one of the very few players capable of surpassing Tendulkar’s milestone. Sehwag has now raised the bar to dizzy heights by setting a new record, and the only player who can possibly repeat this feat is Sehwag himself. It is extremely difficult for most batsmen to bat close to a 50 overs and constantly maintain a high strike-rate, which is what makes Sehwag’s record all the more difficult to overtake, at least in the near future.

The Indian innings during the Indore ODI was all about vintage Sehwag. He began decimating the West Indian bowlers right from the second over, as he gracefully flicked a ball straying down the leg side to the boundary before playing a beautiful upper-cut in the very next over by Kemar Roach. He became unstoppable thereafter, as he began to dance down the track and smash the ball to all parts of the ground regardless of who the bowler was. Darren Sammy will be ruing the fact that his butterfingers let Sehwag get away, but by then the damage had already been done. However, that dropped catch reassured Sehwag that he was destined for a double ton. ”When Sammy dropped my catch, I knew God was with me,” he was to say later. An elegant square-cut in the 44th over ensured that the ball made its way to the fence and brought up the coveted landmark.

One thing you can’t help but admire about this genius is his approach during any point of his innings. If the ball is there to be hit, he will hit it. He doesn’t lay much importance on a cautious start and surely isn’t the type to fret in his nervous nineties. This doesn’t imply that Sehwag is reckless; it’s just that he trusts his instincts more than anything else. If the ball is in the slot, regardless of whether he is batting on 0 or 99; it is bound to disappear.

The fact that Sehwag has managed to accumulate runs under his belt just before the all-important tour of Australia augurs well for the Indian team. The dashing opener once again proved that he can single-handedly run away with the match on his day. Australia will have their task cut out if he carries this form into the upcoming Test and One-Day series Down Under. However, here’s a tip to the Aussies – Stop Sehwag before he reaches his fifty, as his conversion rate has been tremendous in the recent past. Of his last seven fifty-plus ODI scores, Sehwag has converted five of them into centuries.

Nevertheless, the Indore knock is one which cricket fans all across the world will savour for a long time to come. It was a perfect blend of style and substance. Virender Sehwag’s 219 is a fine example of the adage – “If a man sets his mind to something, there’s no limit to what he can accomplish.

Thank you for the visual treat, Viru. May you break your own record soon!

(If cricket is a religion and has many devotees, Karthik Parimal would be a primary worshipper. This 23 year old graduate student, pursuing his Masters in Engineering, could be an appropriate example of how the layers of what inspires, motivates and keeps one happy run deeply in our daily lives. He, unlike others, is not too disappointed about not making it big by playing for the country, but believes that he plays the sport every day with his heart by watching and writing on it)

Virender Sehwag’s ODI 200 – Related stories

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at London

More

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014  at Southampton

England won by 266 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Ajinkya Rahane needs to play decisive role

10 little-known facts about Sir Frank Worrell

Statistical analysis of Jacques Kallis’s ODI career

Ajinkya Rahane England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Jacques Kallis Jacques Kallis retirement James Anderson Moeen Ali South Africa

Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson spat: We will take call after receiving order copy, says BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel

Ireland women cricket team to play South Africa in September

India tour of England 2014: Moeen Ali is a rapidly emerging spinner, feels Peter Moores

Cameron White’s ton powers Australia A to 274/5 against India A in Quadrangular final

Perth Scorchers eye Graeme Smith for Big Bash League 2014-15

Waqar Younis’s presence will boost all departments, not just bowling: Mudassar Nazar

India tour of England, 2014: MS Dhoni should call up Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson row: An indecisive verdict

India A vs Australia A 2014, final: Last chance for future stars to shine on tour

Gary Ballance — the headline writer’s dream and the correspondent’s nightmare

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

658 Posts | 6 Fans

Sachin Tendulkar's nine dismissals against James Anderson

Bomb explosions during Salman Khan’s Kick screening in Pakistan!

Facebook users dial 911 over outage, cops frown

Why is Salman Khan going to Canada?

Akhilesh Yadav in Saharanpur photo controversy: Uttar Pradesh government dismisses it

Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson spat: We will take call after receiving order copy, says BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel

Court seeks details on objection to ministries’ social media profiles

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

493 civilians killed in Naxal-hit Maha districts in 3 decades

Hamas defends Gaza ambush blamed for ending ceasefire

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here