India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Indore December 8, 2011

'This opportunity will come only once in a lifetime' - Sehwag

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Virender Sehwag has said that he was happy he took advantage of an 'opportunity of a lifetime' by scoring a double-century against West Indies in Indore. Sehwag had slammed 219 off 149 balls, a new record in one-day cricket, which set up India's win by 153 runs.

"I am happy to have broken my role model Sachin Tendulkar's record," Sehwag said. "It won't be easy for people to score double hundreds. Over the last so many years only two have done it. This opportunity will come only once in a lifetime and I am happy I have taken it. I dedicate this knock to my father who is no longer with us.

"It is one of my very best innings. Unlike in Test cricket when one can bat longer, in one-dayers you have to keep an eye on the run-rate. The wicket was very good for batting but the bowlers are also trying to get you out."

Sehwag said that he thought a big score was there for the taking at the Holkar Stadium. "While opening the innings, I told Gautam Gambhir that if we can show some patience on this track, we will be in for a big one. The outfield is fantastic and the distance of the boundary is only 50 yards."

He needed just 140 balls to get his double-century and his 219 broke Sachin Tendulkar's record for the highest individual score in an ODI. It included 142 runs in boundaries - Sehwag smashed seven sixes and 25 fours. "It was a true batting wicket. Whenever I hit the ball into the gaps, it would go for four. Whenever I decided to hit a six, I would hit with a straight bat and it would go for six."

The first time the double-century crossed his mind, he said, was during the batting Powerplay between the 35th and 40th overs. "I never expected to score a double hundred. It was only after the batting Powerplay started, I felt that I could reach double hundred. Also when Sammy dropped me [on 170], I knew that God was with me."

The record-breaking innings ended a string of underwhelming performances in spectacular fashion, as Sehwag and Gambhir - who returned to the opening slot with Parthiv Patel dropping down the order - gave India the fine start they had been looking for in the series. "In the last match I said our top order was not contributing and it was my job and the other guys' [in the top order] job to give a good start to the team," Sehwag said. "The moment you give this kind of start, you end up with 400.

"We [the openers] said to one another that if we can play together for 15 to 20 overs we could put up a good stand and give the middle-order the chance to build on it. But the wicket was so good, we decided we can bat till the 30-35 overs. I am sorry Gautam was run out [for 67]. I was very upset."

Sehwag did not take the field during the chase. Having batted for 46.3 overs, Sehwag said the innings had taken a toll on his body. "I'm very tired because I'm 33-years-old. I'm an old man and my back and glutes are tight."

Previously in the series, India had bowled first on all three occasions after winning the toss, with mixed results. India had initially planned on bowling in Indore as well, Sehwag said, but changed their plan at the last minute. "We had decided to field first but we were told by players who had played in the Challenger Trophy [a domestic one-day tournament] on this ground that the wicket had deteriorated in the second innings. That's why, I changed my mind."

Legspinner Rahul Sharma was very effective on debut, claiming three wickets off the last ball of each of his first three overs, to derail the chase. India went on to complete a comfortable victory to seal the series 3-1. Rahul's performance was very satisfactory, Sehwag said. "I was very impressed with his bowling. It was his debut. He has a very good future."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on December 12, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    Aus Fans should answer their recent mayhem against NZ.. Ifs and buts are always there, but one who makes history and talk facts matter. ;).. Almost every country toured India, but couldn't.. Be it Pattison or XYZ... this time, odds are against AUS.. I bet AUS will be a L005ER..

  • dummy4fb on December 11, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    I have thought Sehwag is Indias best batsman for a long long time. Sachin is a washed up has been and is only in the team to get his next century. India has a line of several batter batsmen.

    A Pakistan Fan

  • RandyOZ on December 11, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    "However, for Pom-Bashing, you are my good mate. That particular line of attack, we will continue. We will bowl bouncers at Poms from both ends. And, also create more employment opportunities for Saffa Cricketers, in England" - mate, I am with you all the way!

  • dummy4fb on December 11, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    All Time Great Batsman of World Cricket, Virender Sehwag. I was expecting and dreaming this double hundred in ODI after Sehwag said, he is looking to play till the end of innings...Hats off it....deprived of words to congratulate him,,

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 11, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    @Harmony111, what a blast! love it...good going. love your posts...cheers...@hems4cric, elegant and brutal pull rolled into one....love it....now, yeah, all those sad and sore losers, how's that brutal pull for the starters?

  • g.narsimha on December 11, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    BRVO BRAVO ,What about your great team ,which could not beat WI & WIN a series there recently ,before making insulting c oiments on others one swhould realise where he himself stands ,niether WI, NOR NZ tarnished the game as done by your people , reg INDIAN PRIDE IPL, yes that is a master piece as more than one billions follow it ,may i ask just one simple question , why cant your board & sl board which were keen to have thier own brand of t20 compitition ,failed to organise even with home & some out dated international players ,the answer,VERY SIMPLE YOU DONT HAVE THE ECONOMY,SPONSORS,& MOST IMPORTONTLY VIEWERSHIP which cant be compared with us .

  • Harmony111 on December 10, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    @hems4cric :-

    Oh I just loved the way you said it. I wish I had that kind of sense of humor. That was a Touche sir. Muchas Muchas Touche.

  • Crazy4cricket40 on December 10, 2011, 23:20 GMT

    Wow, I like this guy more than Sachin as he never play for himself or records. If he bats until 35th or 40th over. u will always see India score 300+. while sachin will only make sure he complete his century and then try to accelerate.

  • TheLight on December 10, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    Segway should not only thank God, but also Sammy........for his dropped catch and poor field settings, poor bowling rotations and lousy tactics. Why is Sammy still on the WI team?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 10, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    @Bang_La, Bangladesh shouldn't be allowed to play test matches. Remember what Sehwag said - Bangladesh is an ordinary team in test matches. I think Sehwag was being too generous when he said Bangladesh is an ordinary team. Look at your hopeless sitting ducks at home before you come onto India's matches to take visceral pleasures by taking pot shots at our big boys.

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