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

From batting long to just batting

Unlike he did before the World Cup, Virender Sehwag is not premeditating to bat 50 overs anymore. He is batting with a free mind despite an unremarkable year ... until today
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Forget that Virender Sehwag has always been one of the few tipped to get to the double-century mark in ODIs. Also forget that he was not the first to get there: he lost out to a freak combination of perfection, calculation and endurance from his idol. Just keep in mind that he has yet to end unbeaten when batting first in a non-shortened ODI. Imagine the day he does that, the day he bats for 3.3 overs longer than he did today.

Today will be a day for superlatives, and you could be excused for getting carried away and comparing this to Usain Bolt starting to celebrate in the last 10m and still smashing the 100m record at the 2008 Olympics. That Sehwag didn't seem to have to stretch himself might make you think so. Two hundred and nineteen might seem small the day he bats out 50 overs in good batting conditions.

Sehwag threatened to do it at the start of the World Cup earlier this year. In the first match of the event he fought the temptation of hitting spinners out of Dhaka, he also fought the boredom of the middle overs and had to endure back trouble to get to 175. He decided later he could do without that much premeditation. He stopped conditioning his mind to bat long and went back to reacting to the ball and the immediate situation.

After the match in Indore he said you could only score ODI double-hundreds after the age of 30. "You need to be experienced," he said. He spoke of the Mirpur innings; the last time he batted 47 overs, he said, he scored only 175. This time he got 219. The difference mostly was that batting for a particular duration of time did not dominate his thinking, only batting did. His game, he has maintained, has relied solely on eliminating all premeditation: why cloud the mind by telling it you have to bat for a particular duration?

You could see he didn't put in that extra effort to last the whole innings today. He saw a flat pitch, a quick and small outfield, not the best bowling on offer, and wanted to enjoy the journey. If he could bat long enough, great; if not, so be it. During one particular spell in Mirpur, he went 30 balls without a boundary; the longest such drought today was 11 balls. Even during that period the pressure on bowlers was such that Darren Sammy, not wanting to pitch in Sehwag's hitting zone, gave away five wides down the leg side.

The delight of finding gaps, the soul of Sehwag's batting, was back today. One of the few things - perhaps the only thing - that West Indies got right was to cut off boundaries down the ground. Of his 25 fours and seven sixes, Sehwag hit 20 and two behind square respectively. A few of those admittedly came off rubbish bowling, especially the ones past short fine leg, but the ones through third man were the real deal.

Often he would show the bowlers only the inside edge of the bat, and with his wrists impart power to open-face shots, hit from in front of the stumps to behind square. A few of them came off slow bowling. It's a technique necessitated by pitches where the ball doesn't come on. Then there were two sixes behind square. The first upper-cut was played deliberately fine to miss third man, and the second was a good old-fashioned whack to celebrate the double. Then there was the paddle that he played without even bending.

The only predetermination was to get on top of the bowler early if the opportunity presented itself. Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard went for boundaries off the first balls they bowled to Sehwag. Then again Sehwag didn't go out of his way to manufacture a shot. He just reacted to what he might have thought were boundary balls, his definition of a boundary ball being completely different to anyone else's.

The reaction to this feat hasn't been one of surprise, despite the kind of year Sehwag has had: just one international century and the low of a king pair to his name so far. It's because we know only Sehwag has a thought process clear enough to come up with such an innings at the end of an average year. He came out today as if he had scored 150 in his last innings, while in fact he had taken seven innings to get his last 150 runs.

Sehwag's expected reaction to such slumps is to tell himself that when you play at the highest level for 10 years, you are bound to have one such year. The only time you could perhaps tell he was coming off a lean patch was when he - known for his often-careless running between the wickets - dived full length to make his crease when on 77, a sight the biggest cricket nerds will struggle to recall seeing before. He had got a start, and didn't want to throw it away through a run-out.

By the time he was done, he was left a tired man, he said. That didn't show until the last five overs or so when the fielders started throwing everything at his end. Until then he kept finding gaps delightfully, not letting the middle overs or defensive fields inhibit him. This aspect of his batting separates him from other big hitters in an era when batsmen have lost most of their fears, and is the reason why his record will remain under constant threat. From himself.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 10, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    Some sad, bitter and unhealthy souls are making it sound as though this was the first time an ODI was played on a batting track in a smallish ground and that till now no batsmen got to play an ODI on a batting track in a smallish ground. What about those brutal centuries by Gibbs and Ponting at New Wanderes, Johannesburg in a 'mini-stadium' with 50-55 yard boundaries, on a belter of a track and both the teams scored over 400??? Thumbs down to all those sore losers who 'woke up' all of a sudden and started complaining.

  • enjcric on December 10, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    Why do we have to compare one player's achievement to another's? Every player's success and achievement should be enjoyed. Players play with Great Spirit and can't be hitting boundaries at every occasion. If in case one player comes out and hit shot frequently and score good runs in every single game, there won't be any challenge we will bored to see him scoring high at every occasion. Cricket should be enjoyed every moment and success of Indian Team's player should be greatly appreciated. Don't forget when Sachin scored 200 runs, he said" Only Sehwag can break this record". Congratulations Sehwag and thank you for wonderful entertainment.

  • IPSY on December 10, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    I'm an ardent fan of Mr Sehwag, because he is one of the handful of batsmen who were naturally born with the gift to entertain fans in any format of cricket. He ensures that in what ever format he plays, the viability of cricket as a competetive sport should be secured. However, I don't think that because Mr Sehwag who opens the innings in every ODI match that he plays, happened to compile a score of 200 in one of his 200+ innings, 'is beyond human descrption' as folks like Sanjay Manjreakar think! Isn't a score of 100 from 120 available deliveries in a T/20 match, a much more amazing feat, than a score of 200 from 300 (50 OVERS)? But why there's so much hype in the air when an Indian does something special in cricket? Which of these performances is more bionic, and hence need more hype: Shane Watson scoring 186 'NOT OUT' IN 25 OVERS; or Sehwag scoring 219 'OUT' in 46 OVERS? But I did not hear half of what is being said now, said after Watson's bionic performance - it's all forgotten!

  • on December 10, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    @Alexk400, its easy to say Sachin plays for himself, but when he scores doesn't the runs count toward the team. And ask any team will they pick Sehwag over Sachin, the answer is no. Look at the averages. Sachin is more reliable. Yes India wins when Sehwag has his day, but it is not Tendulkar's fault when he plays the entire team collapses. Plus Sehwag has a good game every 5-7 games, while Sachin has ever 2 games. Plus, Sachin's double came against Steyn and co, that is the biggest factor in my opinion.

  • THINK_BEYOND on December 10, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    @ CijoAntony: You are right, consistent performers should be given higher priority in the team. I am just looking forward to how Sehwag + Gambhir perform in AUS condition. Full credit to Sehwag for this world record knock, but he should now try scoring 35-45 average at the top, only then India has a chance to do well in AUS ODI series. This is probably the weakest AUS team that India will face this time, but still I am not confident how India will deliver in the TEST series, it will be again Dravid in batting and Zak (if he's back) in the bowling who can lift us up. I don't expect anything gr8 from others except one odd performance in one odd match.

  • on December 10, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    mr blue android in one day matches pitches are flat and boundries are short everywhere and best flat tracks are in australia and southafrica why? because in india wickets are two paced slow difficult for shot making and australia true bounce also in aussies sehwag scored 195 in a day and eng is a pathetic team cantplay one day club players and if you r international players if you want 45matches to score something toplzplay club cricket everybody these days visit regularly sehwag debut in sa and scored hundred in debut in green track look shane watson pathetic in test matches he in sa looks like a tailender against swinging balll aussies englishmen are a big jelous

  • THINK_BEYOND on December 10, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    @the_blue_android : Well said..perfect analysis..totally agree.

  • on December 10, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    those people who are telling that sehwag fails miserably when India needs him to fire like in SA, WC, England. for their information ,he played his first ODI against australia against bowler like fleming,mcgrath and shane warn.he scored fifty and was rewarded with man of the match.his first test match was against south africa on a fast pitch where he scored his maiden century

  • CijoAntony on December 10, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Well done Sehwag though it comes very late than we expected.one thing to be noted that, sehwag's batting avr.is 35 while Jedeja got 32 avr. !!! Cricket means consistancy, that should be achived if you are a great cricketer.

  • on December 10, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    Not enough we need 419 in test match

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 10, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    Some sad, bitter and unhealthy souls are making it sound as though this was the first time an ODI was played on a batting track in a smallish ground and that till now no batsmen got to play an ODI on a batting track in a smallish ground. What about those brutal centuries by Gibbs and Ponting at New Wanderes, Johannesburg in a 'mini-stadium' with 50-55 yard boundaries, on a belter of a track and both the teams scored over 400??? Thumbs down to all those sore losers who 'woke up' all of a sudden and started complaining.

  • enjcric on December 10, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    Why do we have to compare one player's achievement to another's? Every player's success and achievement should be enjoyed. Players play with Great Spirit and can't be hitting boundaries at every occasion. If in case one player comes out and hit shot frequently and score good runs in every single game, there won't be any challenge we will bored to see him scoring high at every occasion. Cricket should be enjoyed every moment and success of Indian Team's player should be greatly appreciated. Don't forget when Sachin scored 200 runs, he said" Only Sehwag can break this record". Congratulations Sehwag and thank you for wonderful entertainment.

  • IPSY on December 10, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    I'm an ardent fan of Mr Sehwag, because he is one of the handful of batsmen who were naturally born with the gift to entertain fans in any format of cricket. He ensures that in what ever format he plays, the viability of cricket as a competetive sport should be secured. However, I don't think that because Mr Sehwag who opens the innings in every ODI match that he plays, happened to compile a score of 200 in one of his 200+ innings, 'is beyond human descrption' as folks like Sanjay Manjreakar think! Isn't a score of 100 from 120 available deliveries in a T/20 match, a much more amazing feat, than a score of 200 from 300 (50 OVERS)? But why there's so much hype in the air when an Indian does something special in cricket? Which of these performances is more bionic, and hence need more hype: Shane Watson scoring 186 'NOT OUT' IN 25 OVERS; or Sehwag scoring 219 'OUT' in 46 OVERS? But I did not hear half of what is being said now, said after Watson's bionic performance - it's all forgotten!

  • on December 10, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    @Alexk400, its easy to say Sachin plays for himself, but when he scores doesn't the runs count toward the team. And ask any team will they pick Sehwag over Sachin, the answer is no. Look at the averages. Sachin is more reliable. Yes India wins when Sehwag has his day, but it is not Tendulkar's fault when he plays the entire team collapses. Plus Sehwag has a good game every 5-7 games, while Sachin has ever 2 games. Plus, Sachin's double came against Steyn and co, that is the biggest factor in my opinion.

  • THINK_BEYOND on December 10, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    @ CijoAntony: You are right, consistent performers should be given higher priority in the team. I am just looking forward to how Sehwag + Gambhir perform in AUS condition. Full credit to Sehwag for this world record knock, but he should now try scoring 35-45 average at the top, only then India has a chance to do well in AUS ODI series. This is probably the weakest AUS team that India will face this time, but still I am not confident how India will deliver in the TEST series, it will be again Dravid in batting and Zak (if he's back) in the bowling who can lift us up. I don't expect anything gr8 from others except one odd performance in one odd match.

  • on December 10, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    mr blue android in one day matches pitches are flat and boundries are short everywhere and best flat tracks are in australia and southafrica why? because in india wickets are two paced slow difficult for shot making and australia true bounce also in aussies sehwag scored 195 in a day and eng is a pathetic team cantplay one day club players and if you r international players if you want 45matches to score something toplzplay club cricket everybody these days visit regularly sehwag debut in sa and scored hundred in debut in green track look shane watson pathetic in test matches he in sa looks like a tailender against swinging balll aussies englishmen are a big jelous

  • THINK_BEYOND on December 10, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    @the_blue_android : Well said..perfect analysis..totally agree.

  • on December 10, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    those people who are telling that sehwag fails miserably when India needs him to fire like in SA, WC, England. for their information ,he played his first ODI against australia against bowler like fleming,mcgrath and shane warn.he scored fifty and was rewarded with man of the match.his first test match was against south africa on a fast pitch where he scored his maiden century

  • CijoAntony on December 10, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Well done Sehwag though it comes very late than we expected.one thing to be noted that, sehwag's batting avr.is 35 while Jedeja got 32 avr. !!! Cricket means consistancy, that should be achived if you are a great cricketer.

  • on December 10, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    Not enough we need 419 in test match

  • on December 10, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    Interesting that how the records of an Indian player is demeaned :). Richards played against Sri lanka who at that time was worse than B'desh and Kenya. New Zealand was a very weak team.

    Also I have not heard Mcgrath being demeaned for taking wickets in Australia (helpful wickets) or Warne taking wickets against England who are the worst players of spin.

    Neither is Bradman being criticised for having played only against England and not such great bowling attacks.

    Ponting runs not being demeaned for not playing against Mcgrath and Warne.

    Sachin not being sympathised for able to face the weak Indian bowling attacks and score heavily.

    Funny isnt it?

  • jimbond on December 10, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    I am sorry to differ with everyone here- I did not enjoy this innings though I am a great fan of Sehwag. It was a terrible pitch that makes cricket so uncompetitive. and the west Indian bowlers were pretty ordinary on the day. At least a Gayle or a Dwayne Bravo in the team could have made it slightly more interesting, both with their batting and bowling. I love it when Sehwag thrashes good attacks like those of Australia or Pakistan, on sporting tracks. Not this time. Maybe its a blessing in disguise that Sehwag got out cheap in the first three matches, at lest they were worth watching.

  • Alexk400 on December 9, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Sehwag is 100 times better than sachin anyday. Sachin play for himself. Sehwag play for fans. Unselfish entertainer. There is no one like him and no one will. Viv richards has an aura. Sehwag don't have that but he has skills to use his bat as a SWORD and hits 4s and sixers and entertain crowd. Only thing missing from sehwag is consistency and play in swinging conditions against england in england. He may have to go play english county for a while to get used to that swing and bounce. Practice makes perfect. I feel if he try , he can master anythin. It is all upto him.

  • shrastogi on December 9, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Finally an innings from Sehwag which justifies his billing as the destroyer. He has been an underachiever in one day cricket. An average of mid 30's just doesnt justifies the talent he has. The argument that he plays his natural game is a non starter in the way he gifts his wicket easily most of times. That he doesnt play for records is good but you've also got to see the team's interest. A perfect example was the test in Pakistan where he and Dravid had put on 400+ for the first wicket and he was a shot away from beating Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy's record and he gave his wicket away. The record didnt come but gifting his wicket away in Pakistan was bad. A Tendulkar in his place would have waited for the record.

  • zico123 on December 9, 2011, 21:19 GMT

    the way he batted in Indore ODI match is exactly the way he bats in Test matches where he is so successful, i.e. respect the good balls and punish the bad balls, unlike earlier when Sehwag used to try to hit every ball out of the park in ODIs, and used to throw his wicket away after quick 20s or 30s, he should always play this patiently in ODIs from now on, pretty soon he will have 20 ODI hundreds then

  • Raj12345 on December 9, 2011, 20:47 GMT

    You play like Ponting, not like Shewag, he just play for 1 matc and take rest in another 20 ODIs. This is big joke in cricket workd and great record for indians. Any way. Good luck shewag for next 10 ODIs. But u will not get WI as opponent..

  • the_blue_android on December 9, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    I am an Indian fan. To all the Indians who don't seem to understand and keep questioning why foreign players don't score double hundreds or 400 + scores when they visit India, here is the answer. These teams play 3-4 ODIs in India as opposed to 45 or 50 ODIs like the Indian team. If you want me to break it down for you, Virender Sehwag gets 45 to 50 opportunities to play on our flat tracks against weak bowling attack where as a Ponting gets only 2-3 chances. In those 45 chances Sehwag gets, he plays against WI,Bangla, NZ 30 times. Did you guys ever take probability classes in school? So the opportunities for these foreign players are miniscule compared to us Indians. If this cannot make you understand, I don't know what will. It's good to have an opinion, but let others have an opinion as well. My opinion is Sehwag is a flat track bully who fails miserably when India needs him to fire like in SA, WC, England.

  • Nampally on December 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Sehwag is one batsman who on his day could destroy any bowling in the world. He is a fearless entertainer who weiilds his bat most efficiently. He improvises his shots and footwork so as to hit the ball with perfect placement. If he goes in determined to score he will score. So his slumps may fool the opposition into lull but he shocks tham with his superlative power one day out of no where. In the 4th ODI he decided to stay at the crease no matter what and was loath to throw away his wicket.Being the Governor General of the crease he showed why he is the most feared batsman in the world with his double century in just 44 overs. In ODI Tendulkar & Sehwag opening the innings always played with mastery. Sachin introduced the paddle sweep & upper cut and Sehwag followed the suit.Sachin scored a double ton and Sehwag responded by doing the same.Yes, the batting skills differ but Sehwag is in a class by himself - bowlers nightmare when in full flight.It was the turn of WI bowlers this time!

  • on December 9, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    Wonderfully written Sid...thanks

  • Leg-Breaker on December 9, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    While I agree we need to celebrate and congratulate sehwag on his stupendous feat, let us not get overboard. His average is 36 and he delivers these once in a blue moon.

    And as far as comparisons to Richards - Richards had an average of 47 with lesser quality bats (not the kind of quality the present day bats where top edges and mishits result in a six) no Bangladesh against whom Sehwag has an average of 42 and against Bermuda where Sehwag has a score of 114 or Kenya.

    So, let us not denigrate Sir Vivian Richards by comparisons to Sehwag.

    Again, Congratulations to Sehwag - Great job.

  • Cricket.Nellore on December 9, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    If some player is there who is meant for only Spectators then he is Sehwag !!! Whichever the format is, ------- he Starts with "4",------ completes centuries with "6" and so much entertainment likewise...... what do you need more to be a spectator and cricket lover? I Dont care the legends who swallows much bunch of balls before 100's, moreover play for their self rather for team.

  • on December 9, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Congrats to Sehwag on his ODI double century. I always knew he had the capability of shattering Tendulkar's ODI double century since I saw his innings of 175 in the first game of 2011 Cricket World Cup. This knock, if anything, confirms him as one of the greats of the game. He is in his own league, not taking anything way from Tendulkar.

  • AKmAK on December 9, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    VIRU..the man made for Batting.. hat'z off ..all the best.

  • on December 9, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Now that it is almost a day since the blistering double century by viru, we should just sit back and relish the achievement, forget the pitch forget the opposition, the feat was simply phenomenal, not many batsmen can do this even against a blind school eleven let alone international teams, for viru the pitch and the opposition clearly have no meaning he could do this in australia again during the forthcoming tour, he never ceases to surprise you, long live the entertainer par excellence.

  • on December 9, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Very good knock. keep it up veeru. destroy the bowlers down under and take home the test series. All the best

  • yaa_right on December 9, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    Cricinfo, let me know when the next India's ODI match is scheduled @Gwalior/Indore. I will book my tickets in advance :)

  • chapathishot on December 9, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    @Bang La.Do you know that whole BD team fails to score 219 in most of the matches

  • Gujaratan on December 9, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    So if Indian pitches are so flat, why none of your aussie or sa or eng made 400+ runs in india or score 200 individual runs? Your MIGHTY AUS INFORM TEAM with Hayden and Steve and Ponting in their PEAK FORM visited India for several time in that DECADE, yet you could not make 400 or 200 record, not even in Sa you could get 200 when you guys made 434 and sa chased it down 438, why no 200 for last 40 years? Most hig scoring games like sl 400, sa, aus, india 400, came in Sa and Wi. India even scored 393 (almost 400) against NZ IN ENGLAD. So why you guys cant score 400 in india? Only SL managed 400, and even than there was no 200 record.

  • on December 9, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    @ DrAtharAbbass Why you guys devaluating the importance of Winning series at home,Ok India wins mostly on their den,but look at their stats last 25 years they lost only Two home test seires that was against SA in 2000 and Aus 2004,Can u think these are not remarkeable acheivement??.Pakistan on the other hand lost series to almost every team more than twice at their home turf between 1990-2006,Dont forget even Zimbabwe have beaten Pakistan 1-0 in Pakistan in 1998 series.Cricket series in pakistan derailed today because of their terrible internal condition not because of external influence thats why they are foreced to play UAE as replaced venue for their home ground.Sides like Aus,SA,NZ,ENg,Sl,WI are consistently lost test series at home more than what india loose in last 25 years,Please before making any coments on India plz see the larger picture and than write

  • Ronsars on December 9, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs:If scforing runs in India is so easy what happened to ur Englishmen when they toured India?Not lasting even 50 overs says a lot....WI atleast are giving India some competition unlike Englishmen

  • on December 9, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    While congratulating for Viru's great achievement, I think Sachin scored double hundred against South Africa. Secondly, comparison with Viv Richards is meaningless as Richards faced stronger attack and also the kind of developmental programmes have improved considered since the time Viv played.

  • on December 9, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    How many lives he has given in his double century, this will not work in Australia, there are sharp fielders in Australia, so don't celebrate this feat, this was in India and not in elsewhere.

  • on December 9, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    dis man has always been a treat to watch...whenever dere is a indo-pak match,i think if we get sehwag early we can restrict them to a considerable total...he has been da standout performer in a gr8 batting line-up & he deserved to have a highest score record to his name...congratx viru,u r exceptional...with luv frm pak

  • BONG_IN_CHENNAI on December 9, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    UNBELIEVABLE, GORGEOUS, ASTONISHING, MARVELLOUS, FANTASTIC, AMAZING, WONDERFUL, SPECTACULAR, STUNNING, FABULOUS, OUTSTANDING, SPLENDID, SUPERB, BREATH-TAKING, REMARKABLE, ELEGAN, MAGINIFICIENT, DAZZLING, BEAUTIFUL, EXTRAVAGANT, BRILLIANT, INCREDIBLE, STUNNING,... <fill in whatever you can find more>....

    - Sultan of Multan is above all.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 9, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    @cricinfo: I think, the VALUE of a player in ODIs and T20s should be determined by simply adding the values of his career strike rate and his career average. The ranking based on such a total should provide an interesting insight on the most valuable players and I hope this is something cricinfo can provide for us.

  • lesnar11 on December 9, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Shame on people blasting Indian pitches. Do you know the so called 'greatest ever ODI' was played on the flatest pitch ever created? In Johannesburg! And none of the South African and Australian batsmen were able to score a double century there. Talk of hypocrisy!! I don't remember people criticizing the pitch then.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 9, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    I think Sehwag's 219 can be broken by any opening batsman who paces his innings properly and plays out the 50 overs. Scoring each 100 in 70 balls should still leave about 20 balls for the final assault beyond 200. One cannot assume that the player would get more than 160 balls while planning the innings. It's also important that the team as a whole don't consume balls and rotate enough strike to the main batsman. I see the ODI record going past 250 now that the 200 mark has been breached again. It took 2900+ matches for the first person to TOUCH the 200 mark, but just about 250 additional matches for the next person to CROSS it. We will now see a lot more successful attempts. Sehwag is also in the 6s race...to capture the most 6s in Tests, though the ODI record is some way off.

  • RandyOZ on December 9, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    My blind dog could've scored a centruy on this ground with its 20m boundaries. None the less brilliant effort Sehwag. Him and Gilly have revolutionised ODI opening. Virender is a far better player than Sachin, who even remembers the other 200 now!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 9, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    I see the Aussies making another trip to Bangladesh only to give Watson ANOTHER chance to cross 200 and break Viru's record. The WI could invite the English home and give Gayle a crack at their bowling too!

  • East_West on December 9, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    may be VIRU is the only guy who can score in any subcontinent that too with amazing speed! although he failed miserably in the last few games, he was going at his USUAL pace - that is too fast for any major cricket player! having said that, I believe HE IS THE ONLY VEGETARIAN who can score at such crazy pace that too a DOUBLE hundred!! Damn! Viru bhai! Hats off! .............and he can DIVE as well:) who would have thought that!!!

  • McGorium on December 9, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    @ the_fruit: Point taken on a technicality, but you are splitting hairs, surely. Women's ODI is a separate statistical category. I'd argue, much like first class or List A cricket. Also, it would be fair to say that the standards of the Netherlands' women ODI team is likely not particularly impressive? But never mind that... since we are in a mood for splitting hairs, here goes... The author of this piece says "Also forget that he was not the first to get there: he lost out to a freak combination of perfection, calculation and endurance from his idol. ". It does not say that his idol was the first ;) This statement would also be semantically and logically true if tendulkar were the third. He did lose out to SRT, and he was not the first. ;)

  • Andy.rockz on December 9, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    I would like to add one more thing,Someone here have mentioned that he can only do this feat in India subcontinent http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/366624.html They should see this scoreboard and no wonder he might repeat the same in australia anything is possible when sehwag comes

  • Samar_Singh on December 9, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    Shewags amazing stats as i just found it : His personal highest scores in different format are as below :

    First Class : 319 List A : 219 T20 : 119

    Isn't that some stats ...simply amazing ..

  • on December 9, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    Sachin's double hundred was against a top bowling attack including Styn. Sanath jayasuriya was more destructive at times than viru.

  • Samar_Singh on December 9, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    congrat shewag , i knew one day you will make a double ton in ODI .... there is one other man who can equal this and that is CHris Gyale only if he bats some 40 -50 over ... sadly Gyale is not considered in the WI selection ... congrat Shewag once again .. wad ya Playa ....pure genius ..

  • on December 9, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    Great achievement regardless of the size of the ground...(Only 20m from the inner circle to the boundary)...

  • bowledYou on December 9, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    @the_fruit- sorry for the confusion.. yeah.. Belinda Clark is a female.. I didn't know.. :) hahaha.. oh yeah.. that is ODI for sure.. I apologise :)

  • Percy_Fender on December 9, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    For all those obviously envious idiots, I must remind them that this man scored a 100 on debut in South Africa against the likes of Pollock,Nantie Hayward,a young Kallis and Ntini. He has since scored centuries in England,Australia,Pakistan Sri Lanka, West Indies and Bangladesh. All the centuries he has scored have come against good bowling and at incredible speed. Whether it is pace or spin, he can simply destroy any bowling because of his hand eye co-ordination and fearlesness. I cannot think of anyone who can be compared with Viv Richards than Viru Sehwag. He is nor too fashionable but he is one of the greatest batsmen the game has seen.

  • on December 9, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    Viru does not like being compared to Viv Richards as he places viv far above himself. But Viru definitely belongs to the same league as Richards.

  • on December 9, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    i say this is good knock by viru he totally eclipsed his guru but one thing sammy is not good captain fielder bowler but he can be a handy lower order batsman he is not a attacking cricketer he only thinks of himself not of team i say change the windies captain and you will see miracles in you side

  • abhilash.medhi on December 9, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    I would suggest we wait before we use all kinds of superlatives to describe Sehwag's knock. A certain Mukul Kesavan hasn't yet verified if a double hundred in an ODI is good enough to be called a double hundred. /Sarcasm off

  • Vilander on December 9, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    Belinda Clark !! sorry, she is a lady cricketer not in the same class, as impolite i may sound. Lets get some perspective here.

  • on December 9, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    BJ Clark* not out 229 181 155 22 0 147.74

  • fearless69 on December 9, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    @the_fruit, So you want the reporter, cricinfo and everybody to combine records of men & women cricket here? LOL

  • bowledYou on December 9, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    @the_fruit- do you really know the full form of 'ODI'... well let me tell you.. it is 'One Day International'. 219 runs by Sehwag yesterday is an ODI record and accept that. I have no idea which 229 run innings in an ODI by Belinda Clark that you are mentioning here.

  • Ronsars on December 9, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    Firstly great article Sid one of the finest cricket articles i have ever read.....Kudos Viru for an entertaining knock

  • rko_rules on December 9, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    The first paragraph says it all. Yea, the day he bats complete 50overs in an ODI, that will create the biggest havoc in the opposition camp

  • satish619chandar on December 9, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    @spence1324 : I guess not a time to blame anyone or anything.. Just imagine if a swing bowler taking 10 wkts in overcast conditions wont make it a history? We have seen so many flat tracks and shorter boundaries(Doesn't England have one?).. But never seen a batsman score 200+.. Credit where it is due..

  • CSKftw on December 9, 2011, 3:10 GMT

    @the_fruit

    Belinda Clark's 229 remains the highest FEMALE ODI score of all time. Sehwag's 219 remains the highest MALE ODI score of all time. The two are not the same, even ICC tracks their stats and rankings separately.

  • DrAtharAbbas on December 9, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    @khiladisher Pakistan can only win against Bangladesh when playing with them, How can it beat India, Australia or South Africa while matches are with Bangladesh??. Ranking again: there isn't a big difference in ranking between West Indies and Bangladesh. INIDA IS WINNING WHATEVER YOU ARE BOASTING ABOUT AT HOME. Pakistan don't even play at home. They go and win in other countries all the time. Notice the difference if you can.

  • CSKftw on December 9, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    @the_fruit

    Are you serious? Unless female cricketers and male cricketers are able to play against or with each other, how can you compare stats? Male cricket and female Cricket are two different versions of Cricket altogether as far as stats go. No disrespect to women, but I'm sure everyone would agree it's of a much lower standard compared to men's cricket and the fanbase is also considerably smaller.

  • on December 9, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    i must say better than Viv Richards...no doubt about that...whatever the world says...i still remember the 1987 and 1989 series when India were crushed by west indies. now its India's turn...keep it up india

  • chandy86 on December 9, 2011, 2:17 GMT

    @rao bobby why don't you go and bowl to him dude.lets enjoy his knock man.

  • big_al_81 on December 9, 2011, 1:54 GMT

    Terrific innings! BUT some pretty daft comments here! I think some of you are starting to lose the plot again. This is not the greatest article on sport ever but I suppose it may be the best you've read if you only read about cricket and only a very narrow section of this website. I understand the comparison with Usain Bolt is about the entertainment and the potential to run even faster/score more but that's where the comparison ends. There are lots of records in cricket, and this is not cricket's blue riband event unlike the 100m in athletics. But take nothing away from Sehwag - a great achievement, and great fun (especially from a guy with a very modest average ;-))

  • johnathonjosephs on December 9, 2011, 1:42 GMT

    ICC should come out with a new law having a "subcontinent record" and outside "subcontinent" record. Either that or ICC need to regulate the conditions of pitches all over the world. Pitches in India/Pakistan (Pak actually has the most flattest wickets) and to an extent Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (they do have some pitches that are sporting wickets). Indian and Pakistani fans really love to see their batsman smash the ball and make big scores, but its been getting too ridiculous lately. Even Ashwin complained about the wicket in a match against West Indies recently and there has been a long history of records being broken in India. Its not good for the game at all. If you think it's just the batsman having good performances, then why did India get completely whitewashed in England in both Tests and ODI's (one tie), especially right after winning the World Cup? Even Sri Lanka did better than them when they toured and they toured in rainy, overcast weather!

  • khiladisher on December 9, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    @THE FRUIT-MATE BY THE WAY WHO IS BELINDA CLARK-SHE IS NOT EVEN THE #1 TEST BATSWOMAN-THAT TITLE ALSO GOES TO A INDIAN -MITHALI RAJ

  • Bang_La on December 9, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    Welcome to Australia, Shewag.

  • the_fruit on December 9, 2011, 0:51 GMT

    Pretty handy knock, though.

  • the_fruit on December 9, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    The reporter wrote: "Also forget that he was not the first to get there: he lost out to a freak combination of perfection, calculation and endurance from his idol."

    I think that he (and everybody else) has forgotten that Belinda Clark scored 229 not out in an ODI against The Netherlands in 1997 - two years before Sehwag even made his ODI debut. Clark's knock remains the highest individual ODI score of all time.

  • wicked.wizard on December 9, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    This is one of the finest sports article i have ever read. I wont be suprised if Sid Monga one day becomes the editor of Wisden or Cricinfo one day after reading this article

  • Looch on December 8, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    An incredible achievement, is there any feat of power batmanship that this bloke can't do? Well played and congratulations Sehwag.

  • MinusZero on December 8, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    Tendulkar is a great batsman, but Sehwag is in his own league. No one else in the world bats like him with such great success. Well done Viru, you are a legend.

  • alivazee on December 8, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    How astonishing high scores

    Tests 319 ODIs 219 T20Is 68 First-class 319 List A 219 Twenty20 119

  • on December 8, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    How astonishing his career figures are.... have a look at his Highest scores in all formats of cricket

    Tests 319 ODIs 219 T20Is 68 First-class 319 List A 219 Twenty20 119

  • playitstraight on December 8, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    Amazing batsman.. the most destructive batsmen in the whole entire cricket history in Tests, ODI and T20. Period.

  • on December 8, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    That was a great knock if only he could follow it up with a good tour of australia .ooh I can't wait for the 26th....

  • Whale_Fart on December 8, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    Mark my word Viru will do this again. However, it will always be on Indian subcontinent pitch. He always gives chances to the fielding team. So if there is a good fielding side he will not go very far. In his brilliant innings of 219 today, he still was dropped with a simple opportunity when he was at 170. True entertainer always unmatched. Chris Gayle/David Warner/Shane watson as of today's cricketers also have capability for double hundred. Congrats Viru! it is a pleasure.

  • smudgeon on December 8, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    How this man manages to score so heavily and quickly while seemingly taking little risk is a marvel of modern cricket. Say what you like about flat pitches & batting conditions, a double-ton in an ODI is pretty special. Definitely seems that the record is where it belongs. Well done, Viru.

  • on December 8, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    He has time and again proved that there is a definite method behind his madness and today's knock was just a sample of what he's really capable of doing.. absolute carnage I must say! And with the Aussie tour round the corner, I guess the warning couldn't have come at a better time.

  • couchpundit on December 8, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    @TruthPrevails Well said, doesnt matter what sort of track it is, how big the boundary is, Sehwag style is Celerbration of batting.

    No one was discouraged to play like and score 2 triple(TEST) and a double(ODI)...if crcicketers around the world has not done it so far...there is a reason for it. Reason is they are not Sehwag.

  • RaoBobby on December 8, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    fluke guyz fluke take it easy he could get out 200 times in this innings had he been playing against his neighbour opponents Windies just one shot ball into the ribs and finish

  • DrAtharAbbas on December 8, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    My comments were not based on any opinion, I presented hard facts and numbers: numbers by ICC the cricket governing body!!!! if someone wants me or anyone else to not present them, tell ICC to stop ranking players and teams, so that greats can be decided on people's personal opinions.

  • Alexk400 on December 8, 2011, 21:20 GMT

    I think epic will be when he scores double century against australia in australia. Until then i am not impressed or score 500 not out in Test. Until then i am not impressed. Yes flat pitch, decent bowling , small ground. For a indian to hit double century with less stamina may be difficult unless you are as calculative and selfish like sachin. I am not impressed because i want more. This should be the beginning of march towards 500 not out in test against aussies. Waiting...

  • braindead_rocker on December 8, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    Some Pakistani fans(not all but some...cos most Pakistani cricket fans know to appreciate good stuff) are jealous..Their batsmen cannot even hit a 100 against Zim or Bangladesh

  • rajachandra on December 8, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    @ DrAtharAbbas

    How did you get a Dr. Title ! which other contemporary Cricketer can boast : 309 @ Multan(2004), 254@ Lahore(2006), 201 @ B'Lore (2005) and 173 @ Mohali (2005) ?

  • khiladisher on December 8, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    @ ATHAR ABBAS-I HOPE THAT YOU CHECK THE RECORDS OF SEHWAG AGAINST PAKISTAN AND THEN WRITE YOUR COMMENTS- I HAVE A FEELING THAT THE GREAT INDIAN BATTING LINE UP OF SACHIN-SEHWAG-DRAVID-LAXMAN-GAMBHIR-KOHLI-ROHIT AND DHONI WOULD SURELY LOVE TO PAD UP AGAINST THE CURRENT PAKISTANI ATTACK OF GUL-BHATTI-HAFEEZ-AFRIDI-AJMAL-IT WOULD BE A CONTEST OF 100000 RUNS AGAINST 100 WICKETS,CANT WAIT ANY LONGER FOR INDIA TO PLAY THIS PAKISTANI ATTACK.I PREDICT A 3-0 RESULT FOR INDIA VS PAKISTAN-REGARDING THE ENGLAND SERIES-WE WERE PLAYING AT HALF STRENGTH WITH MAIN PLAYERS EITHER INJURED OR MISSING-ITS PERFECTLY OK IF WE HAVE 1 BAD SERIES IN LAST 11-12 YEARS-WE ARE STILL #2 IN THE WORLD IN TESTS AND ONE DAY MATCHES AS WELL AS 2 TIME WORLD CHAMPIONS AND 5 TIME ASIAN CHAMPIONS ALONG WITH 1 20-20 WCUP.

  • AzharGangat on December 8, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    @ DrAtharAbbas, Take a chill-pill. Give the guy a break. Shouldn't try to get ahead by trying to pull back the ones ahead of you. An appraisal of the record-breaking innings is just a common sense here. Give credit where due.

  • NRI- on December 8, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    Can't Shane Watson (185 in 28 overs!!) or Chris Gayle break 200? Yes, they can. Great innings by Sehwag.

  • vamanan on December 8, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    Good job Sid. The opening of the article is just fantastic as Sehwag did. Treats every ball on its merit?! "Sehwag thinks each ball merits a boundary". And the closing note too. Sehwag is of course 'The King of entertainment' Rightly said by former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja.

  • spence1324 on December 8, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    Hmmmm batting paradise, generously short boundaries,flat track and a bunch of flowers for the celebration, it felt more like the BCCI was trying to sell me something than any great innings.........

  • TruthPrevails on December 8, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    This is a record for all cricket lovers to enjoy. Flat track or no flat track, it is on offer to every batsmen playing. Who has scored a triple in Multan or Chennai after Sehwag? Are you saying it is easy to replicate? This is a class-A batting, one of its kind so lets celebrate instead of casting illogical aspersions.

  • bigdhonifan on December 8, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    Last time Sehwag was in Pakistan, he scored a triple... So please dont compare again with Ranks. Sehwag = 100 Afridi.

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    I am so proud of Sehwag. His genius shines in the darkest of streets and is a companion to all the boundary-craving cricket fans out there.

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    As Sachin said Viru will be the first one to break this record he has done it. Never looked that he is heading for world record. he took it as just a double hundred.

    Viru is the simplest cricketer in the history of cricket. The way he bats, think, enjoys is very simple and still delivers great innings this is absolutely incredible.

    INCREDIBLE INDIA HAS PRODUCED ANOTHER INCREDIBLE CRICKETER......

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    jus one thing,what an inning by an incredible batsman.Fully amazed.Its clobbering day I mast say

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    Truly epic Headline para and even more epic last para!!

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    your author expected a record where even the record creator didnt expect it ... Sid is a god or what?

  • CULTnishant on December 8, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    When sachin scored 200 i said to my frnd that sehwag will break it at that point of time mt friend was making a joke outta me but today he said that hey bro !! you r damn right hats off to your prediction. i calmly replied him man records r made to be broken :D :D

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  • CULTnishant on December 8, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    When sachin scored 200 i said to my frnd that sehwag will break it at that point of time mt friend was making a joke outta me but today he said that hey bro !! you r damn right hats off to your prediction. i calmly replied him man records r made to be broken :D :D

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    your author expected a record where even the record creator didnt expect it ... Sid is a god or what?

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    Truly epic Headline para and even more epic last para!!

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    jus one thing,what an inning by an incredible batsman.Fully amazed.Its clobbering day I mast say

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    As Sachin said Viru will be the first one to break this record he has done it. Never looked that he is heading for world record. he took it as just a double hundred.

    Viru is the simplest cricketer in the history of cricket. The way he bats, think, enjoys is very simple and still delivers great innings this is absolutely incredible.

    INCREDIBLE INDIA HAS PRODUCED ANOTHER INCREDIBLE CRICKETER......

  • on December 8, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    I am so proud of Sehwag. His genius shines in the darkest of streets and is a companion to all the boundary-craving cricket fans out there.

  • bigdhonifan on December 8, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    Last time Sehwag was in Pakistan, he scored a triple... So please dont compare again with Ranks. Sehwag = 100 Afridi.

  • TruthPrevails on December 8, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    This is a record for all cricket lovers to enjoy. Flat track or no flat track, it is on offer to every batsmen playing. Who has scored a triple in Multan or Chennai after Sehwag? Are you saying it is easy to replicate? This is a class-A batting, one of its kind so lets celebrate instead of casting illogical aspersions.

  • spence1324 on December 8, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    Hmmmm batting paradise, generously short boundaries,flat track and a bunch of flowers for the celebration, it felt more like the BCCI was trying to sell me something than any great innings.........

  • vamanan on December 8, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    Good job Sid. The opening of the article is just fantastic as Sehwag did. Treats every ball on its merit?! "Sehwag thinks each ball merits a boundary". And the closing note too. Sehwag is of course 'The King of entertainment' Rightly said by former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja.