Swashbuckling Indian batsman Virender Sehwag gave the visiting South African team a very tough time during the first Test in Chennai in 2008, former coach Mickey Arthur recalled in his book, released in Johannesburg, on Monday.
"Every single thing we tried, he countered," Arthur wrote in his book 'Taking the Mickey'. "He had an answer for everything. When we changed our tactics, he changed his; he was always one step ahead of us."
Arthur added that despite witnessing every delivery that Sehwag faced, he still found it difficult to believe some parts of his innings: "He scored 319 off 304 deliveries. Some of the 50 came off 25 or 30 balls, and I think his third century came from 84!"
Arthur went on to describe how Sehwag outwitted his strategy at every turn: "I was wracking my brains for a solution to the puzzle, but by the time I'd thought of something else to try, (Sehwag) would have scored another 70. I thought we might see the world record. The way he was going, he had the time to score 500!"
But Sehwag's good run was set to end the next morning: "Overnight I tried to come up with yet another plan. I thought he might be vulnerable to the short-of-a-length delivery early on -- not the bouncer, but the back-of-a-length, chest-high delivery.
"Perhaps it was a complete fluke, but Makhaya (Ntini) caught him early, trapped on the crease early next morning, and he never got onto the front foot again for the rest of the innings, which didn't last much longer before he knicked one. Whether it was a chink in his armour or not, it worked for us. He certainly didn't score any more triple hundreds against us, anyway."