Virender Sehwag gave fans and the other participating teams a glimpse of what to expect from him at the World Cup after a merciless assault on the Bangladesh bowlers in the opening match of the mega event in Mirpur, Dhaka, on Saturday.
The dashing opener clobbered 175 runs, as India, after being put in to bat, piled an imposing 370 for four. After that assault the hosts knew that with an impossible runs-chase, best they could do to save some embarrassment was playing out the overs. They ended up with 283-9 as India won the match by 87 runs.
Sehwag virtually toyed with the insipid bowling to not only notch his 14th ODI century, but with Virat Kohli also steered India to a commanding position.
Kohli also had his moment of glory in the run deluge, scoring his fifth ODI century as the Delhi duo put together a rollicking 203 runs for the third wicket on a placid track at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium.
It was virtual carnage as Sehwag, who defied cramps and batted with a runner after completing his century, and Kohli gave a stunning exhibition of strokeplay to leave the hosts in a daze.
Sehwag hammered as many as 14 boundaries and five sixes in his 140-ball 175 while Kohli's unbeaten 83-ball 100 contained eighth boundaries and two sixes.
When Sehwag took a single off Mahmuddullah to notch his 14th ODI century and second in the World Cup, he got a standing applause from his teammates, the support staff in the dressing room and crowd. His 100 came off 94 balls.
In the process, he created many batting records. It was the highest score by an Indian batsman against Bangladesh, going past Sourav Ganguly's 135 in 2000. He also surpassed Tendulkar's 141, which, till date, was the highest individual score in ODIs in Bangladesh.
Sehwag fell at the same score registered by the legendary Kapil Dev 28 years ago. Shakib-al Hasan angled a fullish ball to Sehwag, who got a bottom edge onto his stumps.
By then, he had given the World Cup the perfect start it was looking for.