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Sehwag's five-best in Tests

Last updated on: November 22, 2012 19:47 IST

Sehwag's five-best in Tests

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November 3, 2001, a stocky young man takes guard with India in deep trouble against South Africa in the first Test at Bloemfontein.

India were reeling at 68-4 on a green top, and the likes of Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Lance Klusner, Jacques Kallis firing on all cylinders.

For one to make a debut in such hostile conditions in never easy. The commentators too were left confused over a Sachin Tendulkar look-alike batsman. 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. Although Sehwag had made his ODI debut long time back, he was stereotyped as a One-day batsman rather than a Test player.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Pal Pillai/Getty Images

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Only Indian to hit two triple tons

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However, that knock appeared a flash in the pan, as soon the Delhi batsman had a couple of poor outings with the bat, and the critics questioned his presence in the Test team.

At the same time, Team India was struggling to come up with a good opening combination. That's when the management decided to promote him to the opening slot, considering that he opens in the ODI format.

It was his sixth Test, verus England at Lord's in 2002. 99 Tests later, Sehwag has amassed 8448 runs @ 50.89, at a phenomenal strike rate of 82.45, inclusive of 23 hundreds and 32 half-centuries. He is the only Indian to hit two triple tons, and in the elite company of Don Bradman, Chris Gayle and Brian Lara.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Fastest triple ton in the history

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Be it the 309 against Pakistan at Multan, or the 319 against the Proteas, or the more subtle knocks, Viru'sbatsmanship has revolutionzied the game.

On the eve of his 100th Test, here are five memorable knocks by the 'Nawab of Najafgarh'.

319 vs South Africa in Chennai (2008)

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 3, 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.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Babu/Reuters

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Sultan of Multan

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309 vs Pakistan in Multan (2004)

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.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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Taming the Lankan lions

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293 vs Sri Lanka in Mumbai (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-highest 250-plus score and had the distinction of scoring the most runs by an Indian in a day.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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Mighty Aussies fall flat

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195 vs Australia in Melbourne (2003)

It was an innings by an Indian to cherish after VVS Laxman's 167 at SCG in 2000.

Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat on a bright day at the MCG. Openers Aakash Chopra and Virender Sehwag gave India a steady start.

Two hits on the helmet, a close call on a run-out as early as the fifth over could not unsettle him. Sehwag, trusting his remarkable hand-eye coordination, his natural ball-striking ability, eased his way into the innings and gradually grew in confidence to reach the three-figure mark off just 144 balls.

He looked poised for his maiden double hundred, but holed out in the deep to Bracken off Katich.

A totally a uncharacteristic, but remarkable knock. However, it was in vain.

After Sehwag got out, India's batting collapsed on the second day. No other batsmen crossed50, Rsahul Dravid was the second highest scorer of that innings with 49.

Australia then amassed 558 with Ricky Pointing scoring his second double century of the series 257 and Mathew Hayden 136.

India were bundled out for 286 in the second innings.

Australia, requiring a paltry 95 runs for victory, hit up 97 for 1 and won the match to level the series.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

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Records galore

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254 vs Pakistan in Lahore (2006)

A match that did not go beyond the first innings.

Pakistan, riding high on four centuries, put up a mammoth 679-7 before declaring.

Again, Sehwag stepped up to the challenge and gave the archrivals a taste of their own medicine with a 247-ball 254.

Rahul Dravid (128) gave him good company in a massive 410-run partnership -- three  short of the 50-year record for the highest first-wicket stand in all Tests, by compatriots Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy against New Zealand at Madras.

Sehwag's marathon knock included a staggering 47 fours and a six, the third-highest total in a Test innings!


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Mian Khursheed/Reuters

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