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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Virender Sehwag's five best knocks

Virender Sehwag's five best knocks

October 20, 2015 18:13 IST

On his 37th birthday Virender Sehwag made a formal announcement.

The Delhi dasher declared his decision to retire from all forms of international cricket.

One of the most attacking batsmen in the world during his prime, Sehwag scored 8,586 runs in 104 matches, having made his Test debut against South Africa in 2001.

The Delhi batsman holds the record for the highest score made by an Indian in Test cricket - 319 against South Africa at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. It was also the fastest triple century (off only 278 balls) in the history of international cricket.

Sehwag is also one of four batsmen in the world to have ever surpassed 300 twice - – Sir Don Bradman, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle being the others – in Test cricket - having also scored 309 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004, the first ever triple ton by an Indian batsman.

An equally fearsome batsman in the shorter format, Sehwag amassed 8,273 runs in 251 ODIs, including 15 centuries, and was part of India's World Cup winning team in 2011. He also has a one-day double hundred to his credit - 219 against West Indies.

Rediff.com takes a look at few of his best knocks.

105 against South Africa on debut in Bloemfontein

Verinder Sehwag of India celebrates a century on his debut

IMAGE: Verinder Sehwag of India celebrates a century on his debut during the first test match against South Africa in Bloemfontein. Photograph: Touchline Photo/ALLSPORT

It was on November 3, 2001 that a stocky young man took guard with India in deep trouble against South Africa in the first Test at Bloemfontein.

The visiting team was reeling at 68-4 on a green top, with the likes of Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Lance Klusner, Jacques Kallis firing on all cylinders.

For someone to make a debut in such hostile conditions in never easy. The commentators too were left confused over a batsman who looked like a Sachin Tendulkar clone. After 173 balls they were all convinced the 23-year-old Virender Sehwag would be a name to reckon with.

A century on debut (105) against the South Africans put him into the limelight. 

309 vs Pakistan in Multan 

Virender Sehwag (R) of India celebrates reaching his 300 as teammate Sachin Tendulkar

IMAGE: Virender Sehwag (right) of India celebrates reaching his 300 as teammate Sachin Tendulkar applauds during Day 2 of the first Test against Pakistan in Multan. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Hitting a century against Pakistan is always satisfactory. But to hit a triple and become the first Indian to reach the landmark only doubles the joy. The feature of this knock was Sehwag attaining the landmarks of 200 and 300 with a six!

It was an innings of class, as the Pakistan bowlers were treated with disdain, and ensured that India amassed a massive 675 runs.

Pakistan were bundled out for 407, courtesy some brilliant swing bowling by Irfan Pathan.

Trailing by 268 runs, the hosts were asked to follow-on. Pakistan's second innings was a disaster as they were skittled for 216.

India won by an innings and 52 runs on the fourth day.

319 vs South Africa in Chennai

Virender Sehwag celebrates his 300 runs

IMAGE: Virender Sehwag celebrates his 300 runs during Day Three of the first Test match against South Africa held at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Photograph: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Batting first on a placid track, South Africa amassed a mammoth 540, courtesy a brilliant 159 from Hashim Amla.

Sehwag led India's reply with belligerent stroke-play to ensure India's start was steady (82-0 from 21 overs). At the end of the day he was well-entrenched on 52, with Wasim Jaffer, on 25.

Followed Day Three, and it was a Sehwag story all through.

None of the bowlers were spared. South Africa had a glimmer of hope when they dismissed Jaffer, but in came Rahul Dravid, who also hit a ton in the process.

Sehwag got to a hundred off 116 balls. He then accelerated as India looked for some quick runs and, in the process, registered the fastest triple ton, off just 278 balls.

His marathon innings included 42 boundaries and five massive sixes.

293 vs Sri Lanka in Mumbai 

India's Virender Sehwag celebrates after scoring a double century

IMAGE: India's Virender Sehwag celebrates after scoring a double century on the second day of the third Test against Sri Lanka in Mumbai. Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

It was the third Test against Sri Lanka at the Brabourne stadium in December 2009.

Sehwag went ballistic, tonking the Sri Lankan bowlers to all corners. Striking an amazing rate of 115.35, Viru took on the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Nuwan Kulasekara and C Welagedara to smash a 293 off just 254 balls, which included 40 hits to the fence and a six over it!

Not only did India beat the visitors by an innings and 24 runs, it also took them to the No. 1 ranking.

Personally, for Sehwag, it was his second 250-plus score (besides his two triples of course) - after his 254 against Pakistan in Lahore (2006) - and had the distinction of scoring the most runs by an Indian in a day.

219 vs West Indies in Indore

India's captain Virender Sehwag celebrates after scoring 200

IMAGE: India's captain Virender Sehwag celebrates after scoring 200 runs during their fourth one-day international against West Indies in Indore. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

Sehwag had many memorable innings in the limited overs format.

However, the best of them came against the West Indies at the Holkar Stadium in December 2011.

Opening the batting, Sehwag amassed 219 (off just 149 balls), a knock inclusive of 25 hits to the fence and seven over it, to help India total 418 for five - the visitors managing only 265 in return.

The innings helped him to break Sachin Tendulkar's record for the highest one-day score, and he held it till Rohit Sharma scored 264 against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens last year.

Rediff Sportsdesk