Happy birthday Viru! Take a look at the top 5 innings played by Virendra Sehwag
It's the birthday of the Nawab of Najafgarh! And what can be a better way to celebrate his 41st than take a trip down the memory lane and relive Virendra Sehwag's best innings.
Virender Sehwag, the man who revolutionised the role of the opener in Test cricket, celebrated his 41th birthday today. So Hold on to your seats as we take you on this ride of reliving top 5 innings by the swashbuckling opener.
5. Bloemfontein, 2001: 105 vs South Africa
In the very first innings of his debut test, Virender Sehwag smashed a 173-ball 105 in a 220-run stand with Sachin Tendulkar after India lost 4 wickets for 68. Though India lost the match, but this innings marked the begining of the test legend that is Sehwag.
4. Napier, 2002: 108 vs New Zealand
In ODIs though Sehwag hadn't really set the stage on fire initially. But with Sachin's foot injury, skipper Ganguly decided to promote Sehwag up the order. And well, the art opening wasn't the same any more. He scored his maiden ODI century in 69 balls. At the time, the century was the third fastest ODI century for an Indian behind Mohammad Azharuddin's 62 ball effort and Yuvraj Singh's 64 ball effort.
3. Multan, 2004: 309 vs Pakistan
This one's obvious as you can't talk about Multan without mentioning its Sultan. On March 29, 2004 Nawab of Najafgarh became first India to ever score a triple century. This was India’s first test on Pakistan soil in 15 years, and Sehwag ensured that it will be remembered as the Test match where an Indian finally scored a triple century. He literally destroyed one of the most lethal Pakistan bowling attacks (consisting Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami and Saqlain Mushtaq) single handedly.
2. Chennai, 2008: 319 vs South Africa
With Viru, it was all in or nothing. And he proved that against South Africa in Chennai on March 28, 2008 as he blasted the fastest Test triple-century, off 278 deliveries. Opposition coach Mickey Arthur termed it the 'best Test innings he has ever seen'. This innings made Sehwag one of four batsmen in the world to have ever surpassed 300 twice in Test cricket.
1. Chennai, 2008: 83 vs England
In the first test against England in Chennai in December 2008, things didn't look particularly bright for team India as India had to score 387 runs in the fourth innings to register this is miraculous win. And win it did. Viru didn't score a century, but this knock was the primary reason why India chased 387 against England immediately after the Mumbai blasts. Many were predicting India to go for a draw, but Sehwag had other ideas. He smashed a 68 ball 83, setting up a nice comfortable platform for the middle order to to do the job, which they did, courtesy of Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh.
Before the Sehwag era, openers had a blueprint of batting. They would stonewall and see out the new ball and then lay the base for the middle order to ensure they would carry the team to a great total. However, post 2001, this Delhi-boy changed how opening was approached. Employing the simple mantra of 'See ball, hit ball', this right-hander decimated bowlers in their opening spells, placing himself in the pantheon of Indian cricketers as one of the very finest.
Thank you, Viru.