India in Pakistan, 1st Test, Lahore, 4th day

Off-side slaughter

How Virender Sehwag flayed the bowlers to all parts en route to his double-century

On the ball with S Rajesh and Arun Gopalakrishnan

January 16, 2006

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Virender Sehwag has scored hundreds against all opposition in all climes, but this is one pitch he will want to carry with him wherever he goes. Thwarted by the weather for most of the third day, he made the most of clearer skies on the fourth, and ensured that all the Pakistan bowlers suffered.

Sehwag's wagon-wheel shows just how efficient he was in creaming boundaries on the off side - 37 of his 46 fours came in that region, and it didn't matter how many fielders Inzamam-ul-Haq placed in that region, Sehwag still managed to find the gaps, and the fence.

On a pitch which offered the bowlers absolutely nothing, Pakistan were quite powerless against Sehwag's ability to convert even the good balls into run-scoring opportunities. With the ball hardly deviating after pitching, Sehwag was comfortably able to plonk his foot forward or back - or sometimes not move them at all - and simply hit through the line of the ball. Shahid Afridi had blasted 101 off 76 good-length balls; Sehwag wasn't quite as devastating, but he still managed to score at more than a run a ball off the deliveries which pitched on a good length.

The only bowler who managed to somewhat curb Sehwag's strokeplay was Shoaib Akhtar, who only went for 22 from 31 balls. Against the rest, Sehwag scored at close to a run a ball or more - Rana Naved-ul-Hasan was the one picked out for special treatment, disappearing for 65 from just 46 balls, 14 of which were banished to the fence.

Sehwag against Pakistan bowlers
Bowler Balls Runs Scoring rate
Shoaib Akhtar 31 22 70.96
Shahid Afridi 44 40 90.90
Shoaib Malik 35 34 97.14
Mohammad Sami 48 47 97.91
Danish Kaneria 39 39 100.00
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 46 65 141.30

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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