Test batting winner

One of them Viru days

Records fell, bowlers sighed. Sehwag smiled and beat everything to a pulp

Sidharth Monga

February 19, 2010

Comments: 58 | Text size: A | A

Best Test Batting Performance

Virender Sehwag
293 v Sri Lanka
third Test, Mumbai

There was a time when teams were happy with 293 runs in 82 overs of Test cricket. There was a time when batsmen didn't pull any stunts against Muttiah Muralitharan and quietly saw him off. There was a time when defensive fields slowed the run-rate down, when left-arm spinners could buy some dot balls by bowling outside leg with strong leg-side fields. There was a time before Virender Sehwag started having his days.

At the Brabourne Stadium against Sri Lanka, Sehwag had one of his days. He alone scored 293 in 82 overs. It was Murali who wanted to quietly blend into the surroundings, starting with a long-on in his first over and yet going for 84 off the 76 balls he bowled to Sehwag.

Leg-side fields didn't matter: Sehwag stepped out, made room and chipped over extra cover, even first ball after a break. Or he reverse-swept past point, from outside leg. In one day he hit 40 fours and seven sixes. The longest he went without a boundary was 12 balls. Violence, power-hitting, streaky shots - none of those, no sir. Just gap-finding of the most delightful kind.

A cricket ground has never looked so prone. To watch Sehwag bat that day was to realise that nine fielders can cover only so much. It is a simple thought that at any given time about 90% of the field is exposed and safe. Yet we need an uncluttered mind like Sehwag's to drive that point home. Batting seemed dangerously easy that day. Batting was pure, infinite joy that day.

Most masterpieces have a defining moment, an enduring image, representative of the work. For this 254-ball 293, it wasn't the inside-out chip, not the straight loft, not the midwicket flick, not the cut, not the vertical sweep - a sort of tribute to the master of that shot, Sachin Tendulkar. It was a plain defensive shot that told the story of the fielding side's helplessness.

Murali was in his ninth over, Sehwag had crossed 100, the field was well spread, the helmet had made way for a cap. He had just inside-outed the bowler for four, and Murali came back with a doosra, slightly short of a length, around middle and leg and turning towards off. Sehwag read it early, went deep into the crease, waited for the ball to arrive, and give it a full-face defensive.

Murali's malleable wrist and forearms dropped off in frustration, and he said something to Sehwag that made him smile; he turned away and continued smiling. Sehwag was reading the doosra and Murali knew it. More than the 14 fours and four sixes in his 100 at the time, it was one defensive pat that exasperated Murali. And Sehwag enjoyed it.

That defensive shot came during a spell when Sehwag was especially urgent, going from 101 to 151 in 30 deliveries. Sri Lanka even tried bowling outside off with packed off-side fields. They were flicked past midwicket. Before tea, Sehwag felt a twinge in his back; he leaned on his bat, he fell over on occasion, and held his back while running. Twenty minutes later, the first ball after tea, from Rangana Herath, went from outside leg to the extra-cover boundary. Bad back? What bad back?

Sehwag ended the day 284 not out, having beaten the attack to pulp, and said he played each ball on its merit and tried only to hit bad balls. "Yeah, right," you and I might say. "Yeah right," his team-mates said. "In the dressing room they told me I was hitting the good balls too, but if you look at it my way I hit only the bad ones," he said the next day. That's what this innings was, an exercise is redefining the "bad ball".

He started the third day having broken many records already, and with many others in sight - most triple-centuries, the fastest triple-century (which, incidentally, he had held before too), and Brian Lara's 400 was sort of unsafe too. In the fourth over of the third day, though, he chipped one straight back to Murali, seven short of the 300. Silence. A standing ovation. Cricket went back to mundane stuff like bowlers bowling to their fields, working at plans.

As he walked back, though, after a brief show of anguish, he smiled, he acknowledged the crowd. When Sehwag has one of his days, a narrowly missed triple-hundred is not nearly reason enough to agonise.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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Posted by cric4india on (February 22, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

People never fail to turn platforms to wield their whip, do they? Hello...this was not a forum for discussing who the better batsman between Sehwag and the master is! We are never satisfied, are we? It is rather ridiculous how Sachin is the only player in the world to be discussed on forums which are not in the slightest concerning him. People who are comparing and criticising him are only making him more famous! Thanks anyway! Guess this could only make people understand his influence better !

Posted by Aussies4Ashes on (February 22, 2010, 4:17 GMT)

I'm an Auusie supporter ut even i admit that he is an excellent player and when in form one of the most destructive batsmen alive. He can take a game away from you in a second and he has a nack for making huge scores as is evident in his exceptional 293. If only some of the other indian players played with their actions instead of their mouths aka Harbi!!!!!!!!!

Posted by waspsting on (February 21, 2010, 20:54 GMT)

Funny comments here!

obviously Tendulkar is better batsmen than Sehwag - consistency and longevity seattle that. but what Sehwag can do in certain conditions... is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! I doubt any player in history could do the like - viv richards, even Don Bradman. both are a treat - in different ways. IMO, Tendulkar is better, but different strokes for different folks. Also want to add... with sehwag, gambhir, dravid and tendulkar you have a batting line up in which the top four are all averaging 50+. hobbs, sutcliffe and hammond of the top three averaged 50+, but no other team has come close. I agreed with Ian Chappell that batting strenght couldn't keep a team at #1 in the absence of a couple of great bowlers... but the likes of this Indian batting team is unprecedented. who knows what they can't do? If sehwag and gambhir can score like this abroad (as sachin and dravid have done) - i'd say anything is possible. don't think it likely though.

Posted by uXaeR on (February 21, 2010, 20:51 GMT)

sehwag was good... But I was pretty much convinced that Umar Akmal would get the award. He scored 129 on his debut innings when Pakistan was 85/5 against NZ. I think the jury went for big scores rather than night-watchman efforts at debut. 19 year old scoring a century on a debut on not so much of bat-support on the pitch should have received more praise than just a nomination...

Posted by crieper on (February 21, 2010, 3:54 GMT)

Viru should be grateful to Ian Chappel who advocated for him through this article http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/324429.html to be picked up for 2008 Australian tour despite not being in the list of 30 probables.

Many puritans couldn't digest when IC termed Viru 'The Next Bradman' in his article http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/442012.html. Few made a mockery expecting his downfall like JP Duminy after IC's article 'Duminy's a great in making'. But Viru with his two recent centuries against SA disappointed them utterly.

Wish IC will soon come up with an article on Viru forecasting him to score a double century in ODI and break Lara's 400 in Tests.

Posted by Phat-Boy on (February 21, 2010, 2:10 GMT)

Why is Sachin the batsman of the year? Four centuries in four tests = great effort. 2 of them were against Bangladesh, and he was dropped in both of them. The next was against South Africa in a match that was already lost, and in which he was dropped once more.

The fourth was one of four centuries in the innings, and came on the back of yet another devastating effort from Sehwag that set the platform.

Posted by Phat-Boy on (February 21, 2010, 1:59 GMT)

ZA77, you pretty much lost any credibility in your post the instant you wrote that no other batsman apart from Sachin Tendulkar dominated Shane Warne. Is your cricket mind so Sachin-centric that you forgot this diminutive fellow from Port-of-Spain who not only dominated him, but smashed him to the point where he was dropped in favour of Stuart MacGill in 1999?

The worship of Tendulkar is plainly ridiculous. He is a genius, no argument from me, but this attitude that no-one can be compared with him no matter what is the sole reason why the Indian cricketing public is given very little credit by the rest of the world.

Sehwag is a genius, who has scored centuries in England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand - the four hardest places for Indian batsmen to play. His debut century came after he walked onto the Bloemfontein pitch at 4-68 for goodness' sake, so get over this whole "he doesn't make runs overseas" rubbish.

Posted by harman26 on (February 21, 2010, 1:25 GMT)

its so easy to divide indian fans in two groups and get them to argue. y cant we celebrate 2 of our greatest batsmen and leave it at that? no need to argue about who is better. just enjoy their epic batting.

Posted by nirav123 on (February 21, 2010, 0:00 GMT)

what the heck is going on here.....sachin is a sachin masterblast....sehwag is a sehwag, a tiger....both are superb batsman when they opens the innings....great players in the team.....there is no point of comparing one with another as both are amazing...one is aggrasive at his best...one is calm at his best....however, both are superb players...there is no point of saying sachin is better than sehwag or sehwag is better than sachin....they both started at different age so there is a difference between records,,,nonethless both are great players....

Posted by Vroooom on (February 20, 2010, 21:54 GMT)

Comparing Sachin and Sehwag and their contribution to the team is comparing a vacation at the beach to one in the mountains. Each is unique and has its own charm. Obviously some prefer one to the other. You can find a dozen instances where sehwag helped india win and sachin failed and vice versa. Why do we feel the need to rate and calibrate everything? Why not just enjoy the beauty of each one's batting.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2010, 20:53 GMT)

"Cricket went back to mundane stuff like bowlers bowling to their fields, working at plans". There is probably no better way to think about cricket when shewag gets out! Nice one Sudharth!

Posted by WESY on (February 20, 2010, 20:26 GMT)

Although getting big scores every innings may not be possible, it would be better to avoid arguments/comments because they will eventually distract your focus which is very valuable.

SEHWAG, I WISH YOU ALL THE VERY BEST!! HAVE A SUCCESSFUL YEAR 2010.

Posted by WESY on (February 20, 2010, 20:23 GMT)

Sehwag, You are blessed with many valuable qualities.I have a request for you.. Please don't involve in any arguments/comments as that might distract you...I felt like this because, that evening, when you were not out on 280+ you commented on muralidharan's failure that day,which I think pricked him or shifted your focus from the game on to murali, you were out the next morning in murali's bowling(they started their bowling, with murali, the next morning) ) and subsequently could not get the triple ton after putting enormous effort the previous day.Also, I felt the same in the case of bangladesh tour. You have commented on the bangladesh team, and ofcourse your comments are true and they would have aroused them and made them put a good fight...but your focus had to be on those statements also apart from the game,may be because of that you din't pick big scores there..

Posted by WESY on (February 20, 2010, 20:00 GMT)

the kiwi tour when kiwi bowlers(Kyle mills etc) said,"Its difficult to bowl at right places until sehwag is in the middle"(You resembled a lion roaring in the middle,when I read these statements),the 130+ and the 293 against the srilankans was destructing.

I don't know whether it looks strange to believe if I say, I am a hardcore fan of virender sehwag,ever since 2002 (He made a statement "Let it be tests or ODIs I will bat in same style"),I liked his slice for six over third man, the way he bats,his fearlessness at any situation,the fear which he creates in the bowlers mind because of which their line and lengths drastically fall.

Posted by AsherCA on (February 20, 2010, 19:50 GMT)

Yes - both Sachin & Sehwag are brilliant in their own ways. However, the impact of Sehwag - 430-odd target set by England in a testmatch was reduced to almost nothing in a couple of hours. Teams are now scared of setting India 400 targets across 4 sessions.

Posted by WESY on (February 20, 2010, 19:38 GMT)

Sehwag...I admire you so much..You are very inspirational to me. My father was a great fan of you..He's no more now..I still remember the moments we enjoyed together,watching you play.You are a courageous man with a lion's heart.Individuals like you are needed to put India in the front line of the competition, in any field.

The way you attack is tremendous, ex: the 2004 attack when you struck sixes at the milestone marks of 100,300etc(this shows your fearlessness) the 2008 attack on the SA bowling, your attack on the mystery mendis's balls when all your companions were struggling against him(the double ton shows your standalone and courageous fighting for the country ),the mayhem against the english attack in 2008( I was stuck to the Television when you scored 80+ to win the match)

Posted by amitava0112 on (February 20, 2010, 18:54 GMT)

sachin tendulkar thru sheer weightage of his awsome record will remain India's best ever batsman for ages...he has always been a true genius & a gr8t ambassador for india and his records against all nations in almost all conditions have been great..except one criticism..he has many a times failed in big games & in important situations..although his is making some amends in recent times...lets not compare Virender Sehwag with Sachin..instead lets appreciate Viru's feats which is unparralled on its own in Indian cricket..2 300s & 1 near 300..high % of 150+ scores in his 19 100s..300 short of 7000 runs in 76 tests with menacing strike rate of 81...high averages vs Aus,SA,Pak...all with better fast bowling attacks & also awesome vs lankan spinners...as good or maybe even a better record than tendulkar had in his 1st 80 tests..the biggest point is that he is an impact player & his big knocks totally dents the opposition bowling attack & makes game easier for tendulkar&co..Viru is an icon.

Posted by krik8crazy on (February 20, 2010, 18:52 GMT)

I was lucky to watch that great innings. Sehwag hit some cheeky shots like reverse sweeps to deliveries outside leg stump, but a major portion of his boundaries were sweetly timed shots. And the scary part was that he was assured in defence. He would whack 2-3 consecutive boundaries and then play a balanced defensive stroke with the middle of the bat. He made batting look ridiculously easy that day.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2010, 18:26 GMT)

I can Say viru is always better than sachin. I viru played the same matches what sachin played I will cross sachin runs. Please came out from sachin mania and think. Viru is one and only who made 300+ more than 2 times. It not happen with the great batsman sunny, manjraker and even dravid. We wish all success for vuru.

Posted by time2goback2dbasics on (February 20, 2010, 18:03 GMT)

players like viru r needed in test cricket,why everyone is comparing him with sachin.both r different.....but i thinks why ian chappel was appealing him for australia series in 2008..even when he was not listed in last 30 players...no other answer needed.

Posted by Yorker_ToeCrusher on (February 20, 2010, 17:56 GMT)

"There was a time when...."-The first para says it all.

Posted by kiraj777 on (February 20, 2010, 17:54 GMT)

What's with this Sachin-Sehwag comparison you idiots! Gosh, thank God we have better sports writers that that in our country. Great article Mr. Monga, loved reading it!

Posted by ya_right on (February 20, 2010, 16:27 GMT)

Ya whatevever...and what about one of those days when Bangladesh made India there bia*tch when they kicked their but* in the world cup. It would have never happened if Sachin was there instead of Viru....just look at the recent series. Mediocre at best and un-comparable to Sachin.

Posted by ZA77 on (February 20, 2010, 16:26 GMT)

I think Tendulkar is better than Sehwag. Technically Tendulkar is better than him then Sehwag is unable to play in defensive mode, Tendulkar can play in both modes. Sehwag scored 150 or plus 13 times but 10 are in Asia. Sehwag is unable to score any double century in any other continent but Tendulkar did. Tendulkar dominated completely Shane Warne which is not even the case of any other batsman. 50 or plus scores are only 10 in 48 innings in other continents in which he scored only 1097 runs with help of 22.85 runs per inning 1097 / 48, Tendulkar equally balance in other continents. In New Zealand, England, Bagladesh and S. Africa, Sehwag failed to proved himself. Only slightly lacking on Tendulkar part is his average in S. Africa is near to 40. So continent and country wise in both cases, he is better. Tendulkar is better in 3rd and 4th innings than him as he only scored one century in 54 innings with batting average 31.22. Equally balance in both formats but Sehwag not.

Posted by Manush on (February 20, 2010, 14:24 GMT)

In my opinion Sehwag has not been given the right treatment from the beginning and the bad patch, thanks to Greg Chappel, should be forgotten along with the selector's poor approach. He should be properly counseled as did by Sachin in the just concluded test, to control his over enthusiasm. He has still more potential to be tapped.Ganguly should not be forgotten for his excellent finding and putting him at the top order

Posted by Ribs on (February 20, 2010, 13:56 GMT)

Gr8

It is not right to compare sachin and viru, Sachin achieved more but viru can achieve if he can play the same number of tests as Sachin played, merely impossible now a days the number of tests per year reduced.

Viru contributed more than Sachin, if you compare the Sachin first 69 tests with Viru. You can compare the Sachin earlier vistit to Australia with Viru's. Viru performed better than Sachin.

Posted by pjbr on (February 20, 2010, 13:42 GMT)

ok...i know there's no end to viru vs sach debate. but y is praise for sehwag misinterpreted as loss of sachin's reputation. Its like comparing richards with gavaskar. personally though, I think sehwag's contribution is greater simply because he's caused a paradigm shift in the way batting was approached in test matches and even more so, by test openers. and it takes extraordinary talent to do that and we must acknowledge his genius. Does not take anything away from sachin's achievements though!!!

Posted by jamrith on (February 20, 2010, 13:31 GMT)

Thanks for the article. For all the doubting Thomases who sneer at Test cricket as an anachronism in this age, just enjoy the sheer skill and execution of Sehwag in full flow. In fact, he is better to watch as a Test cricketer because he is no indiscriminate cow-corner slogger the type that sends the T20 hordes into ecstasies.

Posted by gr8_sachin_fan on (February 20, 2010, 11:47 GMT)

Why does no one agree with my comment that any of Sachin's 47 centuries are better than Sehwags triples or 293.. Come on guys, Sachin is a God & Sehwag is mere mortal, surely Sachin deserves to be the Test Batsman of the year.. Speak out dear friends, dont hesitate to say the truth..

Posted by   on (February 20, 2010, 10:17 GMT)

Veeru has changed the way test cricket is played!!! Well deserve Viru!!!!

Posted by   on (February 20, 2010, 9:31 GMT)

Too good to write about but this column does him justice.

Posted by sri1ram on (February 20, 2010, 9:26 GMT)

The only player in recent days who reminds you of the carefree joy when you know that you are batting in the zone and in full control of anything the bowler has to offer, if you play cricket and know what I mean. Sublime reflexes - I cannot think of anyone else like him in 20 years of following cricket. "Gifted" is an understatement on Sehwag - blessed would be closer.. Love sehwagology - look it up in google or cricinfo.

Posted by Ribs on (February 20, 2010, 6:40 GMT)

When I watched his first century against SA I told my freinds he is the one going take over the Indian test cricket, they laughed at me they may thought this is too early to say. People can make comment about his technique, but you can't find anyone near his cricket brain. His approach is differant from others no one thinking about win against England except Viru, Dhoni accepted after the match. If some one like Mendis dominate the Indian batting line up, Viru will exploit them and others will follow. It is happened in the recent SA tour as well, Dale quite in effective in the second test mainly due to Viru's factor. Always opponents delaying the declaration due to viru factor. People cannot make complaint the he cannot score in fast tracks. His 2 hundreds in the one dayers came against Bond, 194 in Melbourne, 151 in Perth and his first hundred in Blontenfield all in the seaming tracks. If he curb his aggression he will be more sucessful in the onedayers as well

Posted by McGlashan on (February 20, 2010, 6:04 GMT)

he can tear apart any, absolutely any bowling attack man. look at the way he welcomed steyn in last test against saffers n obviously, who can forget MCG?, galle even his test debut against saffers at bloemfontain? very headstrong guy. world tried to change him or dismiss him all the time but he remained same. now he is proving them wrong. that takes strength of character. that makes him THE SEHWAG. hope we can find someone like him- if it is actually possible-here in england

Posted by Vikramaditya100 on (February 20, 2010, 5:48 GMT)

He is just unbelievable.No words to describe him. He follows a simple principle, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). He doesn't give a damn about records though he sets many of them.

Posted by DareDevilFighter on (February 20, 2010, 5:46 GMT)

I am only waiting for two days of viru when

1> he surpasses lara's 400 in tests

2>he surpasses saeed anwar and charls coventry's 194 in odi's

CAN HE REALLY DO THIS C'MON VIRU IF U R READING THEN JUST DO IT....

Posted by truthspeaker on (February 20, 2010, 5:14 GMT)

Sachin and Sehwag are crown jewels of India - Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly are the pillars of midle oredr - these five are the greatest cricketers of the last 2 decades

Posted by   on (February 20, 2010, 5:03 GMT)

I agree that Veeru is todays most entertaining and reliable bestment, its VIRUS for the rest world

Posted by   on (February 20, 2010, 4:45 GMT)

Virender Sehwag is the James Bond of cricket. Sehwag hits all the bowlers with great timing and grace like James Bond shoots the enemies with great ease and timing. Sehwag is the number one attacking batsman, no doubt in it at all !...

Posted by aujender on (February 20, 2010, 4:02 GMT)

Sehwag's inning fully deserve the inning of the year. Such inning not only uplift the status of the Test but also keep the intersts of the public in the test matches. Gone are the days when the full team scor less than 284 in the whole day and fully satisfies. such inning are moral booster for the players laying form the other end because morla of the other team is so low that the other batsman also do not face any challange from the bowling side, easily picks up single & twos, bowler's onfidence is low and so on. Around 500 runs in a day is amazing to watch on ground and TV and even amazing to hear commentary. This all due to a fantastic knock of 284 from a single guy called Sehwag

Posted by   on (February 20, 2010, 3:16 GMT)

It was batting at its joyous best. I count myself lucky to have watched it.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (February 20, 2010, 1:51 GMT)

I think Sehwag would put up one or two big and brilliant hundreds every 3 tests even if the bowlers are kind of Lillee, Thomson, Holding, Roberts, Garner, Croft, Marshal etc. Ofcourse he has the X-Factor and deservs to be nominated for the best or best ever batsman titles but he has a few serious flaws; eg. why is he not so good in limited overs cricket? why does he play himself down when talking to press? Still there is something about him which stops us seeing him as a great batsman; too much modesty? unattractive batting style? the paunch? Having said that all I can't help amazed by this man.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2010, 23:31 GMT)

hard to believe he averages 'only' 53 in Test. The impact and the destruction he leave behind is equivalent to someone averaging 85 per innings. No bowler has been able to restrain him and he's scored big all great bowleres including McGrath, Steyn, Pollock, Warne, Lee, Akhtar, Flintoff, Murali (Bond is the only exception, but he's only faced him in two tests).

Posted by   on (February 19, 2010, 23:24 GMT)

fully deserved, he played brilliantly, leaves a sour taste with tendulkar winning odi when it should have been dilshan though

Posted by   on (February 19, 2010, 20:37 GMT)

Hope Sehwag doesn't quite test cricket after playing 100 tests as he told cricinfo today. His true greatness is in test cricket and test cricket needs him too. Only a test match can breed such an innings and its innings like this that make test cricket something no other sporting contest can ever match for me.

Posted by avkris on (February 19, 2010, 20:18 GMT)

I bunked my class that day and watched the action on TV. Boy, wasn't I lucky. I had a feeling he would get a big score (at least a century), given the form he was in the previous Test. Thank u so much, Viru, we are all indebted to u for such tremendous entertainment. I've been a big fan of his since his maiden ODI century. Whatta player...he may not be d greatest player ever, but the most entertaining cricketer of all time!!

Posted by nik_ on (February 19, 2010, 19:45 GMT)

terrific bater! it's a shame these guys won't be playing test cricket in the near future.

Posted by gr8_sachin_fan on (February 19, 2010, 19:32 GMT)

Sachin should be awarded best Test Performer for this year as well.. In fact he has been the best Test batsman in the world every year since 1989.. There is no other batsman ever who has had such an impact on Test Cricket.. The number of Tests India have won which they would have otherwise drawn if not for Sachin, the number of Tests India has drawn which they would have otherwise lost if not for Sachin.. No other Test batsman has ever done so much for his team and nobody can ever.. It is not possible for a human, only God Sachin cad do it.. Please award him Test performer of the year also.. Sehwag can score as many triple as he wants but he cannot match a single of Sachin's 47 centuries..

Posted by Zigor on (February 19, 2010, 19:12 GMT)

Virendar Sehwag is the most attacking batsman world has ever seen. Period !

Posted by Test_Match_Fan on (February 19, 2010, 18:56 GMT)

I watched every minute of this innings waking up all night. Could not sleep. Worth every minute. This was the best innings ever by anyone. While Sachin Tendulkar's individual performances have been good, Sehwag is the real reason why India has been able to win Test Matches. He has set a standard that will be unbeatable for generations to come. Indeed Sehwag takes a bow!

Posted by muthu77 on (February 19, 2010, 18:39 GMT)

He is the Rajnikanth of Cricket. He redefines cricketing geometry!!!!! Class Act!!!!!

Posted by anurag23bhide on (February 19, 2010, 17:39 GMT)

I WAS THERE. that spectacle was something i will remember all my life. it is unlikely i will ever witness anything as magnificent ever again. the east stand ticket was a mere 50 rs and never again will i get a chance to make such a great investment. in retrospect in fact i could have paid a few grand to watch that day.

i doubt there will ever come a player as gifted as him. yes, it is time we accept that this man is a genius, a flawed genius, but a genius nevertheless. the don once scored 300 in one day. he had well over 100 overs to do it. sehwag, as u say, scored 284 in 82. impossible, i say, without some god-given x-factor.

besides, none of it was brutal hitting. in fact, he was finesse personified. and yet inexplicably he scored at that pace. no one has ever toyed with murali the way he did on that day. virender sehwag, take a bow

Posted by Alexk400 on (February 19, 2010, 17:11 GMT)

Good tribute. Sehwag is god of sehwagology

Posted by playdumb on (February 19, 2010, 16:37 GMT)

Sehwag's batting makes me wonder how he would have fared against the famed WI quicks, Roberts, Marshall, Holding, Garner et al at their peak. Hope he plays on for many more years and hope some bowler somewhere makes the bat/ball duel a bit more equal when he is batting. And to think that he was dropped for poor performance few years back!

Posted by AbhiPro on (February 19, 2010, 16:22 GMT)

I was there at the Brabourne for all five days of that Test, including THAT day. People in the North Stand, were reduced to shouting 'paisa vaisool'. After Sehwag got out on the 3rd morning, it seemed suddenly that all activity had come to a standstill, both on the field and in the stands. Such is the effect he has on the game.

Posted by floydianechoes on (February 19, 2010, 15:57 GMT)

he is the clint eastwood of cricket.wutta player!

Posted by rohtheho on (February 19, 2010, 15:17 GMT)

Awesome! Plain awesome! A fitting tribute.

Posted by aaharshvijayan on (February 19, 2010, 14:31 GMT)

simply the best test innings of 2009....but it was so unfortunate that he missed his third 300+ score..the only player who can do it...looking for more runs from his willow..and wish him a wonderful 2010.....Cheers to cricinfo....

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Sambit Bal Editor, Cricinfo

Harsha Bhogle Television presenter and writer

Geoff Boycott Former England batsman, commentator

Ian Chappell Former Australia captain, commentator, columnist

Daryll Cullinan Former South Africa batsman, commentator

Peter English Australasia editor, Cricinfo

Tony Greig Former England captain, commentator

David Lloyd Former England coach, commentator

Sanjay Manjrekar Former India batsman, commentator

Andrew Miller UK editor, Cricinfo

Dileep Premachandran Associate editor, Cricinfo

Ramiz Raja Former Pakistan batsman and captain, commentator

Peter Roebuck Former Somerset captain, writer

Osman Samiuddin Pakistan editor, Cricinfo

Statsguru awards

The Statsguru Awards go beyond runs scored, wickets taken or batting average, and are the result of detailed data analyses of performances in 2009. Which batsman played more consistently than any other? Who got the highest percentage of his runs in boundaries? Who was the best bowler in the third and fourth innings? Cricinfo's ball-by-ball data analysis of every international game has answers to these queries and more. The Statsguru Awards are based on these stats. Among this year's big winners: Virender Sehwag, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mitchell Johnson. Full list of winners here

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