December 24, 2011

When's the first 500?

Eight years after he astonished Melbourne with 195 in a day, Sehwag is back. What will he produce this time?
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Just say India win the toss and bat on Boxing Day. If Virender Sehwag receives half the strike, if he repeats his 1.19-runs-a-ball scoring rate of two years ago when he batted through a day in Mumbai for 284, and if he doesn't get out, he will bring up his 500th run shortly before tea on the second afternoon, at 2.32pm to be exact. If he goes a little faster, as fast as in the Indore one-dayer last fortnight, the clock will say four minutes past mid-day when he crosses for run number 500. "Run" is a misnomer, actually: there'll be not much running, mostly a whole lot of standing and swatting, if Viru becomes Test history's first 500 man.

Two days before Boxing Day is a time for big ifs. Probably when the morning comes, and if there is swing in the air, Sehwag will appear vulnerable and edge a couple and get hit. It will be his first in-the-skin look at a Melbourne Test pitch since eight summers ago. He won't have looked, unlike the other players, during the pre-game machinations. He doesn't look. If you look and it looks like a road you'll only start calculating how many Christmases am I in for here, and complacency's dangerous; if you look and it's a bit green, you'll think I'd better get my technique shipshape and my feet moving. And a Sehwag whose feet don't budge is vintage, destructive Sehwag.

That's the first thing Melburnians peering at him through haven't-seen-this-bloke-in-eight-summers eyes will comment on. No footwork. Ask Sehwag about footwork and what he says is this. "Doesn't matter." It takes a while, till a few overs before the first drinks break usually, to remember that he's right, for him, and that everybody before, all the dashers, nudgers, nightwatchmen, stonewallers, pinch-hitters, textbook buffs and dads strapping on falling-apart thigh pads and stepping out into the kitchen were, maybe, not as right as they told each other they were. Once upon a time there was pre-Sehwag. Now it's Sehwag time. Who knows what's next. But by that first drinks break he's flying, not his feet, just the scoreboard, his arms and hands too, his broad back arching away cub-like and stealing room for his hands to hack the ball past or over the man at point. No one hacks harder. How can that be, you ask; the lab tests have come back inconclusive. But to properly hammer in a nail you have to hold it at a right angle to the wall, and someone once said that's Sehwag's secret. Bat meets ball at right angles. Ball explodes. There's a carpenter's efficiency to it, a carpenter's elegance too, alas.

No one who sees Sehwag this Boxing Day will be moved to reach for their quill, pen or keyboard and bash out a poem.

Press Sehwag himself for clues and he's been known to say, "Just see the ball and hit the ball." Or: "I just look at the ball and try to play my shots." Or: "Before you get out, score as many as you can." Rahul Bhattacharya has called him the "nearest thing India has ever had to an express fast bowler"; harsh on Kapil Dev, whose second-over bumper on his first morning of Test cricket persuaded Sadiq Mohammad to summon from the bowels of Faisalabad's Iqbal Stadium a helmet, this at a time when batting helmets resembled space mushrooms and were no less exotic a delicacy.

By that first drinks break he's flying, not his feet, just the scoreboard, his arms and hands too, his broad back arching away cub-like and stealing room for his hands to hack the ball past or over the man at point

Back to Sehwag. "He showed our bowlers," Stuart MacGill reminisced last week, "that he didn't need a look at us before he swung. My first ball to him at the MCG went over midwicket for six." Except it was MacGill's second ball, not first. Also, it went over cover not midwicket - a casual swing, a ball spiralling up, up, up. Forgive MacGill some haziness. Fronting up to Sehwag is enough to unhitch a bowler from his moorings, to rob him of his sense of time and place. Especially a spin bowler. Sehwag tries to maximise runs against the bowler he thinks poses the minimum threat, and that's usually the spinner. The day at the MCG that MacGill was talking about was that Melbourne day eight summers ago, a three-sixer day for MacGill. Sehwag punched out 195. And as yet another MacGill offering drifted towards the tram tracks of mid-distance, it felt good that the special comments man in the commentary box was none other than Geoff Boycott, the methodical slug of '70s yore there to witness Sehwag's sparkly-winged dragonfly. "Some players," Boycs muttered, "don't get in positions quickly to put it away, but 'e does, Sehwag, 'cos 'eez first intent is to look where he can hit something for runs."

Boycott on biffing: an expression of grudging admiration. Wider, wider, wider we go. How wide can a sport's boundaries of what's possible and what's impossible be stretched? Enough for a man to hit 500 in a Test?

Four hundred is the record, set by Brian Lara in St John's. Curious to think, that's not so much more than Len Hutton's 364 in 1938, a mere 36-run rise in 73 years, a case of arrested evolution, an anomaly - now, a sitting duck in Wisden's books. Already Sehwag has blitzed the one-day record 16 days ago with his 219 in Indore. Far from being Sehwag's best effort imaginable, it probably wasn't even the greatest innings Indore has seen. That honour goes to a sun-hatted Ian Botham's laughing masterpiece against Central Zone in 1982, immortalised in Scyld Berry's Cricket Wallah, when Botham outscored his partner Gatting 118 to 3 at one stage, middling even the orange peel that a spectator tossed in his direction.

The time now's ripe. Pitches are covered, lost rain-time gets made up, lbw laws are tailored towards batsmen, TV replays stomp on chance and injustice, and helmets, no longer mushroomy, are less heavy and wearisome on the head. Fast bowlers tend not to be lightning-like, and few reliably swing it; spinners' mysteries are comfortably decoded over late-night slo-mos and a tumbler of whisky. Bats are like pick-axes. The day draws nearer when a mishit traverses the length of the Nullarbor Plain. Probably cricket is headed for the same technology debate golf has been through, leading us eventually, inexorably, to fields being lengthened; but not yet.

Speed, impatience - and a sense, with this, that yesterday's ways and mores are for toppling and ignoring today - are qualities ingrained in our culture. And where the culture is, cricket follows.

Sehwag. Five hundred. Think not if, but when.

Christian Ryan is a writer based in Melbourne. He is the author of Golden Boy: Kim Hughes and the Bad Old Days of Australian Cricket and, most recently Australia: Story of a Cricket Country

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY ansram on | December 27, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    Sehwag is one player, who though vulnerable on green tops and bouncy wickets, still has the ability to score heavy. With his agressive approach he neutralizes the bowlers advantage. Once he starts scoring at run a ball, bowlers run helter skelter and loose line and length, and then it hardly matters whether the pitch is flat or juicy. Get him out as early as you can, he is vulnerable on both flat and juicy tracks before he gets his eye in. A player of his style remains vulnerable even after he settles down that is why a 500 might be a big ask. If there is a batsman who can score 500, it will be Sehwag, because he is only one who has the time to get that. He needs only 500 balls or may be 400 if he has gone beserk.

  • POSTED BY rhtdm302 on | December 27, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    @Faran, i am sure you love cricket! What do you think is Afridi a Proper Batsman???

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | December 26, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    @spence one thing i will tell you instead of giving your personal opinions about sehwag flaws firstly go read columns of skippers and bowlers all over the world before a tournament either in subcontinent or outside everyone is just dying to have sehwag out somehow...which a reason enough of how hel of al good player he is..and every player has a bad tournament or phase in his life but to think about england being no.1 after over a century of playing test cricket and also no wc yet...how poor this is an eternal bad phase man...anyways merry x-mas and new year

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | December 26, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    forget about personal landmarks guys....just wish your team good luck because in the end all of these players from every team are providing us exciting contest of cricket...from my part best of luck india and may the best team win

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | December 26, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Forget all the statistics. The reason I think Sehwag has the lower probability to make 500 is because the team score is likely to be in the 800 range unless all other Indian batsmen fail and he gets an enormous amount of strike. So a declaration might cut him short if India intend to press on for a win. Captain's call will actually be easier to let him get to 500 if all others fail! Will be interesting if he stays interested that long. But he doesn't chase after records, so this one won't happen. It would be too selfish of Sehwag to stay in that long, and we know he is anything but selfish. If batting conditions are that easy, chances are, he will get bored and hit one risky shot too many.

  • POSTED BY on | December 25, 2011, 21:53 GMT

    @ RandyOZ... No one is doubting Gilly's Destructive abilities. Gilly used to destroy attacks in Tests whn the opposing teams had bowled around 75-80 overs or so. Viru on the other hand starts destroying when the bowlers are fresh and the ball is hard and new. Melbourne 2003, Multan 2004 are some of the examples.

  • POSTED BY ToTellUTheTruth on | December 25, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    All I pray for is, for Viru and Gambhir to stay there for two sessions. The rest will be history.

  • POSTED BY cheguramana on | December 25, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    Most of the readers have started the usual pro-and-anti stuff abt the player in question. I thot there was a big issue there raised by Christian Ryan : cricket has become too much of a batsman's game. How abt making some changes to even the odds a little bit ? (1) Make the 'one bouncer an over' rule a 'two bouncer an over' ? (2) re-introduce 'back-foot no-ball' rule ? (3) regulate the size/width / thickness/ weight of the bat ? (4) regulate the size of the grounds-have minimum circumference-some of the grounds may drop off from the Test venues list ?

    At least they did one good thing- abolish the role of a 'runner' for an injured batsman. Some more measures pls, ICC !!

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | December 25, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    @spence1324. one king pair doesn't make a batsmen bad which had a career average of 52 with sr of 81 , having two triple hundreds .

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | December 25, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    @Naikan mate you have thrown all these stats at us and fair enough he has a average that is brilliant in the subcontinent but as your stats have shown outside the subcontinent its very poor which me and a fair few other posters have be trying to make. @erVaibhav tell you now that has totally been forgotten about WHEN seawag bagged a king pair in england, with england about to take the No 1 spot merry XMAS.

  • POSTED BY ansram on | December 27, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    Sehwag is one player, who though vulnerable on green tops and bouncy wickets, still has the ability to score heavy. With his agressive approach he neutralizes the bowlers advantage. Once he starts scoring at run a ball, bowlers run helter skelter and loose line and length, and then it hardly matters whether the pitch is flat or juicy. Get him out as early as you can, he is vulnerable on both flat and juicy tracks before he gets his eye in. A player of his style remains vulnerable even after he settles down that is why a 500 might be a big ask. If there is a batsman who can score 500, it will be Sehwag, because he is only one who has the time to get that. He needs only 500 balls or may be 400 if he has gone beserk.

  • POSTED BY rhtdm302 on | December 27, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    @Faran, i am sure you love cricket! What do you think is Afridi a Proper Batsman???

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | December 26, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    @spence one thing i will tell you instead of giving your personal opinions about sehwag flaws firstly go read columns of skippers and bowlers all over the world before a tournament either in subcontinent or outside everyone is just dying to have sehwag out somehow...which a reason enough of how hel of al good player he is..and every player has a bad tournament or phase in his life but to think about england being no.1 after over a century of playing test cricket and also no wc yet...how poor this is an eternal bad phase man...anyways merry x-mas and new year

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | December 26, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    forget about personal landmarks guys....just wish your team good luck because in the end all of these players from every team are providing us exciting contest of cricket...from my part best of luck india and may the best team win

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | December 26, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Forget all the statistics. The reason I think Sehwag has the lower probability to make 500 is because the team score is likely to be in the 800 range unless all other Indian batsmen fail and he gets an enormous amount of strike. So a declaration might cut him short if India intend to press on for a win. Captain's call will actually be easier to let him get to 500 if all others fail! Will be interesting if he stays interested that long. But he doesn't chase after records, so this one won't happen. It would be too selfish of Sehwag to stay in that long, and we know he is anything but selfish. If batting conditions are that easy, chances are, he will get bored and hit one risky shot too many.

  • POSTED BY on | December 25, 2011, 21:53 GMT

    @ RandyOZ... No one is doubting Gilly's Destructive abilities. Gilly used to destroy attacks in Tests whn the opposing teams had bowled around 75-80 overs or so. Viru on the other hand starts destroying when the bowlers are fresh and the ball is hard and new. Melbourne 2003, Multan 2004 are some of the examples.

  • POSTED BY ToTellUTheTruth on | December 25, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    All I pray for is, for Viru and Gambhir to stay there for two sessions. The rest will be history.

  • POSTED BY cheguramana on | December 25, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    Most of the readers have started the usual pro-and-anti stuff abt the player in question. I thot there was a big issue there raised by Christian Ryan : cricket has become too much of a batsman's game. How abt making some changes to even the odds a little bit ? (1) Make the 'one bouncer an over' rule a 'two bouncer an over' ? (2) re-introduce 'back-foot no-ball' rule ? (3) regulate the size/width / thickness/ weight of the bat ? (4) regulate the size of the grounds-have minimum circumference-some of the grounds may drop off from the Test venues list ?

    At least they did one good thing- abolish the role of a 'runner' for an injured batsman. Some more measures pls, ICC !!

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | December 25, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    @spence1324. one king pair doesn't make a batsmen bad which had a career average of 52 with sr of 81 , having two triple hundreds .

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | December 25, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    @Naikan mate you have thrown all these stats at us and fair enough he has a average that is brilliant in the subcontinent but as your stats have shown outside the subcontinent its very poor which me and a fair few other posters have be trying to make. @erVaibhav tell you now that has totally been forgotten about WHEN seawag bagged a king pair in england, with england about to take the No 1 spot merry XMAS.

  • POSTED BY Naikan on | December 25, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    Some folks have been badmouthing Sehwag's credentials without bothering to use such an easy tool cricinfo offers - statsguru. They should look it up before they end up with the foot in mouth disease. England is the only team he really needs to have his record corrected against - but not to worry next time the pommies will get it from him. Ok back to business. For the record Sehwag has played 48 tests abroad with an average of 46.6 (more than most current batsmen on earth - but with the killing strike rate of 81+ which is more than the strike rate of most batsmen in one dayers!! Sehwag's average in Australia is 59.5 and with a strike rate of 74! In Pakistan he has a bradmaneque average of 91+ at a strike rate of 85+!!! Very few with an extended career can match that in cricketing history!. While his average in SA and NZ is not good his total average against them is good (50+ & 44+). He has a tripple century against SA! So it wont be long before his bat thunders on their shores too.

  • POSTED BY akasharyan on | December 25, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    The only cricketing philosophical approach that takes a Sehwag to be a Sehwag is 'live and let die'! Sehwag is a man who is above all - records, number of centuries, batting average and whatever. Statistics don't matter to this guy and that's exactly what is behind the oppositions' strategies to counter this guy. Sehwag is like rock music - brutal, wild and devastating but what matters thereafter is that when and how often you use that devastating force to stab the opposition. Make no mistake but there's one more thing that makes a Sehwag a Sehwag and it's 'taking risks'. Very often, his hundreds have come off by sixes. When he became the first Indian to score a triple century, I seriously claim that nobody had even thought of it! When he became highest individual scorer in an ODI innings, nobody expected him to be. His milestones have often come at ties when you don't expect that from him and that's what makes a Sehwag a Sehwag!

    They say 'seven ways to heaven'. All open; 'SEHWAG'!!!

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | December 25, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    well i m an indian and big fan of sehwag but i think the article had sad too much . sehwag can make 200 in australia , but a 300 , 400 ,500 will never happen .he would play a suicidal shot sometimes at his innings . @ all english & pakistani fans . please concentrate on your series in uae & leave india - aus alone .

  • POSTED BY on | December 25, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    jimmy thank you brother good tosee honest comment from pak and we wish pak will smash lions of denengland and india pakistan are real no 1

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | December 25, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    @yorkshirematt Mate agree with you that Cook and Trott has stamina, Technic and patience to score 500 runs but you are forgetting small matter of time. Agreed it is 5 days test but with all due respect these blokes will need at least 3 days to score the 500 and cant imaging any batting team bat for 3 days for an innings in today's time and age.

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | December 25, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    @jimmy this is a thread to post some serious comments so stop cracking jokes :D...anyways one thing i can tell u for sure it can be even a irish player if ireland becomes a test playing nation but its definitely not gonna be any of your slow and boring england players because even ireland bats in more attacking way than england bet you englishmen can't forget that after wc2011

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 25, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Gilly was far more destructive than Sehwag ever was or will be.

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | December 25, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    I think its time to define what a FLAT TRACK is, for eg: a bouncy track in AUS with true bounce is much better to play strokes in, all it needs is a bit of getting used to... any home track is advantageous to the home team, including spinning pitches in india... i bet the ppl bashing sehwag have only read about him and seen very few significant matches with him in it... if they did, they would appreciate the fact that for sehwag it does not matter, he gives chances on any track, but can perform on any track as well, like he did on a difficult pitch in SA on his debut....

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | December 25, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    @yorkshiremate . yeah cook & troot are capable of making 500 in a match but that will be the most boring innings of all time because i can ensure you that they will take at least 1000+ balls to make 500.

  • POSTED BY on | December 25, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    herath uk dont compare jaysuriya sehwage jaysuriya is a guy average 16 in sa and 20 in australai where as sehwag average highet since 1990 in ausiie 59 more than sachin 195 in a day and in sa he scored 103 in debut against donald pollock green track average 40 in australia lolzzzzzz jayasuriya averages 41 in test sehwag 53 at strike rate of 85 also in england in 2002 shwag scored tons you are comparing a great player against a home ground player and if you have doubt go check sehwag record in australia sa england and lanka

  • POSTED BY on | December 25, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    faran and imran yes he is not a proper batsmen but since 1990 he has highest average in australia 59 after that sachin56 peiterson 56 laxman 50 dravid 46 kallis 45 lara 41 even harbhajan has good record as a batsmen in australia than any other pakistani lolzzzzzzzz ha ha ha no pakistani he scored 195 in day in sydney alsoin debut in sa he scored quick hundred in a bouncy green track against pollock and donald any pakistan have not made a single hundred in sa ten yers lolzzz he scored hundred in debut series in england on a green track if he isbad then wat pakistan inzi is overall average aginst have aussie 32 inaustralialess than30 lolzzzzz greatest pak player lolzzzzzzzz first look your batsmen should i give more ststs about pakistanies batsmen lolzzzzz and cook and trott score five hundred lolzzzzzzzz we have seen recently series in india wat cookand trott have done on non turners lolzzzz also in10 days test match they will surely scored a five hundred that too aginst bangladesh that

  • POSTED BY on | December 25, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    Wait? you guys are criticizing his style of batting and saying that he can't bat outside the subcontinent and yet he scored a 195 in Melbourne?

  • POSTED BY Forgotten.child0 on | December 25, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas.... @bipulkumar: Actually u r wrong mate..Sehwag doesn't score@3/over.His Avg SR is 82,meaning some days he scores run-a-ball.So 90balls/session[half of 30ovrs] * 5 = 450, at even SR of 90, he shud get 405. @Chetan Asher: Can't agree more. Sehwag & Richards[though both hv stats to boast of] r much more thn stats. It's a psychological edge they bring into a play. Regd teams thinking defensively is very true. Personally I wil b very happy if Viru can just aim to last 40-45 balls in each innings, I will be very happy[as I know he can take it frm thr]. I m happiest whn he is circumspect to start with[he scored only 16 off 47 during that 195]. Only prob is he might throw away his wkt off boredom....

  • POSTED BY hashabjp on | December 25, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    @Aragon_11 ...better make your bed and start dreaming... maybe like the author you might see sehwag making 500.

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | December 25, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    Sorry, but the pitches that Sehwag have scored high numbers at a fast rate were the flattest pitches that could exist. The only time I've seen Sehwag score a good big score on a non-flat pitch was in Sri Lanka, Galle and in Australia. Other big scores he has (both 300s and his 219) were made on the flattest of all pitches conceivable at a high scoring rate. India made huge scores those times (all the time 600+ at least and declared) Also, Sehwag seems to be "in the zone". He seems to bat for an entire day near perfectly, and then the next day get out very quickly. He does not have the stamina that Brian Lara has for 300, nor does Tendulkar have that kind of stamina for that matter. Brian Lara has both records for Test and First class: 400* and 500*. Nobody can touch those

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | December 25, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    Probably the most dangerous player to wield a bat. If any batsman today will break these records, it'll be him. Wishing luck to our Indian cousins on their tour, then hopefully we'll see an India v Pakistan series where Sehwag can be tested against the current Pakistan attack.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | December 24, 2011, 22:13 GMT

    If anyone makes 500 in the near future it will be an England player. Either Cook or Trott as they are the only ones who will stay at the crease long enough although their scoring rate may be a problem. Maybe in a dead rubber, on a flat pitch or in a repeat of the Brisbane test when playing for a draw for two and a half days.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    To be honest if he could score 500 runs for the entire 5 test series, I reckon it can be treated as a good series for him or even for Tendulkar Laxman Kohli and Dravid.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    @rajeev "the only man who can and will score 300 in the first day" Bradman, Leeds 130?

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | December 24, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    Over rated batsman. Would have loved to see him versus a good bowling attack and with less in his favour.Have to think the Windies would have bombed him into submission.To equate him with Viv Richards is just wrong.Richards could score in any situation against any bowling attack.Sehwag needs everything in his favour.Good attacks can keep him quiet and frankly this summer we thought he was there for a bet.He can't play against good attacks.Soon as a bit of bounce he gets out.

  • POSTED BY Aragorn_11 on | December 24, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    Here's hoping to the subcontinent teams teaching the the rest of the world teams a lesson in Test Cricket over the coming days and weeks...India to beat Aussies...Sri Lanka to beat SA...and Pakistan to beat England!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Spence, like a lot of others, you are talking about the fact that Sehwag is suspect against the moving ball - who isn't ? However - Sehwag is more like the Holding / Lillee / Waqar of batsmen. It is not the runs he scores, just like it was not the wickets those guys got, it is more about the terror he strikes in the hearts of the bowlers & the fielding captain. I have seen oppositions keeping Sehwag in mind & delaying their 3rd innings declarations, resulting in probable wins for becoming sure draws. Will he get 500, I as an Indian hope so, but I don't know. While he bats, I am going to just sit, watch & enjoy. He will get himself out with what look like stupid shots. I will just shrug my shoulders & say, that's Sehwag ..... and then, wait for the next time Sehwag steps out to bat.

  • POSTED BY ankitsinghal on | December 24, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    To all sehwag bashers who think of him as flat track bully and rabbit in seaming and bouncy condition, let me just place some facts , Sehwag averages 59 in so called bouncy conditions of autralia , and for matter of fact your legendary player ponting averages 26 in so called flat conditions of India , so please get your facts corract friends and give credit where it is deserved .

    Players skills are eaqually needed whether they are spin conditions or seaming condition.

  • POSTED BY Faran on | December 24, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    yes it is possible but only if he plays in india. Indian can manage many more records in their home ground. if one loves cricket then tell me please is he a proper batsman???

  • POSTED BY ssingh19 on | December 24, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    Hi Guys, Guess what!!! 119, 219, 319 and I think, 419 will also be good, before having 500!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    he is the most over rated player ever his average in subcontanant is over 60 and overseas in 30's. he has scored 6 double hundreds and all of them in subcontenant. none overseas.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    @spence1324 you are wrong. Dravid has been miserable in SA. you know nothing about Sehwag, he has got runs in tough conditions, find out yourself,. you are blinded by that pair (Sehwag will be the last man to care about any pair). @ Stephen Robbins English batters are also overrated ,all their runs in 2011 were against below avg., unfit bowling attacks of the world, Aus,Sri ,Ind.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    Average comparison for selected bowlers

    Bowler Career Avge Home Avge Away Avge Muralitharan 22.73 20.15 27.02 Warne 25.42 25.55 25.27 Kumble 29.65 24.9 37.36 McGrath 21.64 21.97 21.23 Harbhajan Singh 32.22 28.36 39.65 Ntini 28.83 24.43 37.71

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Average comparison for selected batsmen

    Batsman Career Avge Home Avge Away Avge Bradman 99.94 98.23 102.85 Tendulkar 56.03 56.38 55.75 Ponting 52.28 56.93 47.48 Lara 52.89 58.65 47.80 Dravid 53.23 51.36 54.72 Richards 50.24 49.78 50.50

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Sehwag shoulgd kick off melbourne with brilliant strikes....there is no mcgrath...there is no mcgill....there is no warne .....no brett lee...no lee lee...no andy bikel.....in my view sehwag cuts cuts cuts and cuts hard for new bowler like aussie has now......

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Dont aspect 500 from sehwag.....coz he will get it if u aspect.....remember 200in odi.....everybody aspected sehwag to score 200 in odi and he did it......so better not think about 500 in test cricket....u will b flop.....its sehwag....other name for sehwag is just keep striking.......so fellows baware.......he is sehwag.....

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 24, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    I think the article raises the point that Sewag is probably the most likely to reach 500 (as opposed to say Cook) but some of you have lost the plot with a meaningless debate. The notion that Indians dont do well in seaming conditions is not different to the English struggling on spinning tracks. Trying to differentiate which is the worse of the two is spliting hairs. This is natural and expected and only a very few will thrive in both conditions. History and stats support this theory time and again yet we get in to twists about splitting hairs.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 24, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    Another king pair? Most likely.

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | December 24, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    @Apoorv...Rahul Dravid's average is 48.60 in Australia,not 46 & it is 52.72 when playing solely for India.Dravid played for World XI in Australia as well.If having technical problems means nothing to Sehwag,he may be happy with that but as a batsmen he cannot be regarded great,he has benefited greatly by playing on very flat pitches.He has just 5 centuries away from the sub-continent.He is a lot like the Sri Lankan batsmen,except that the Sri Lankans prefer not to tour.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Hope sewhag plays a big knock (maybe a double hundred) and i really hope sachin can get his 100th century in MCG infront of 60,000+ people

  • POSTED BY worldcricket-salix01 on | December 24, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    sadly sehwag is more interested in the money in the T20 these days. I don't blame him he gets paid so much there why would he want to go to england or australia where they constantly pepper him with the short ball.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | December 24, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    Hmmm.. He can do it.. Probably we can say he is the guy who can do it..

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | December 24, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    Donot worry one day it could happen somewhere with small grounds and flat pitches.We had the same dream before with Jayasuriya making merry much before Shewag came to the scene.However in Jayasuriya's time ,it was really world class bowlers in their prime all round he had to bat against;Macgrath,Warne,Waqar, Wasim,Pollock,Donald,Garner,Walsh,Marshall just to name a few.Today all around there are good bowlers only; batsmen should really aim high;ideal time to make batting records. Ranil Herath-Kent

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | December 24, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Its worth noting that the game Sehwag made 195, Ricky Ponting made 257. No mention of how the G has been a very happy hunting ground for Ricky untill the most recent of times when he's been hurt going into games there.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    Sehwag will never last long enough to get 500 (or even 400) even at his strike rate.

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | December 24, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Have to agree with @stephen robbins and @ lawrence epps, on a flat track yeah he is a class apart, but on a pitch doing a bit he is like a rabbit court in the headlights a bit like all indian batsman to be fair ( exempt dravid )......

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    england victory against india is fluke injury jolted side thats whyworld cricket not excepting they are no 1andwill never accept if theyare that gud why theyloose to india 2007 it was alsoa weakteam nosehwag gambhir were there

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    toall englishmen since 1990 highest average in australia sehwag 59 sachin 56 kevin 56 laxman 49dravid 46 and kallis 45 lara41 sehwag was injured forced to play checkwhen he toured in 2002 england smashedfar better attackthan these greentrack bully bowler you are jealous dudes because you borrow players from other country beg come and play you dont have player score 195 in a day in australia you dont have player who can score in a green track against donald pollock like sehwag did in debut against south africa

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    why are people talking about sehwag's weakness against swing or on green pitches or anything else? he is the one batsman in the world to whom none of it matters. he's a bit like cricket's marat safin - he could lose to a rookie qualifier in round 1 or thrash federer at his best. sehwag is well outside these bounds of cricket like swing, pitch, opponents etc. but yes, he's the most likely batsman in the world to get to 500 if ever. there is no use debating his style of cricket, so let's just sit back and enjoy it!!

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | December 24, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    It might happen,maybe if Virender Sehwag gets going at the SSC.It will take the flattest pitch of all time to do it.Lara scored 400 & 375 on extremely flat pitches,Hayden's 380 was the same.Scores of that magnitude will not happen in good test cricket conditions.There still has not been a triple hundred in South Africa yet,the man that does that will really deserve the world's respect.Sehwag does not!

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    Stephen Robbins, you are bang on the money. Flat track bully...completely found out this summer in England when the ball was moving a bit. Oh, and did I mention the King Pair? best opener ever? Do me a favour....Hayden, Greenidge etc are streets ahead of him.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    What a completely ridiculous article. Complete flat track bully and hugely over-rated.

  • POSTED BY Paul.Power on | December 24, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    He does have some issues with the swinging ball, though... http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-india-2011/engine/match/474474.html

    e: and hush about the Duke ball. With the same balls, on that same pitch, Cook got 294 and England 710.

  • POSTED BY AnthonyA on | December 24, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    3 words, not gonna happen

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    He will never score 500. I doubt anyone will. You would have to score a huge proportion of the runs and very quickly before a decleration comes. Something that even Sehwag couldn't do with his batting partners

  • POSTED BY unregisteredalien on | December 24, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Fun piece! Thanks Christian.

  • POSTED BY freo75 on | December 24, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    What a ridiculous article - Sehwag has to be the most overrated plater in the history of the game.

  • POSTED BY Ashar8983 on | December 24, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    want to see 300 on perth....i hope veeru can do this

  • POSTED BY Beazle on | December 24, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    India's matchwinner.

    The most thrilling and dangerous batsman Asia has ever produced and he belongs in the same class as Viv Richards and Adam Gilchrist as players all oppositions are both terrified of and would love to have in their ranks.

  • POSTED BY rajeev on | December 24, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    CAN YOU BELIEVE IT I have thought the same thing--the only man who will and can score 300 on the first day and be the first man to score 500 by tea the next day--i think the STAR'S are all aligned from raahu to ketu-- Sehwag WILL score--and not be just known as a flat track bully--DHONI pls post in the locker room for inspiration from a fan--LUV you all HAPPY HOLLIDAY'S

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    lol he wont get 500..he'd throw his wicket in boredom

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    his genious is his simplicity.....no matter how aggressive against the ball,hes always friendly against the opposition.....true sportsman....umpires nd some times the oppsoition fielders hate it when he gets out...thats the kind of entertainment he provides....at a time when the game really needs the crowds to flow in,hes the saviour...long live viru sehwag....the combination of his average ,strike rate and the position he bats at make him the greatest batsman of all time for me atleast....no 1 comes close....im not counting bradman bcos of the uncovered pitches he played on....if cricket is christianity,bradman is jesus and sehwag the bible.....

  • POSTED BY Arunvilla on | December 24, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Once collingwood asked him you always want to hit every ball for a boundary? Sehwag said:no no no!watch ball,hit ball! Wat a crazy cricketer he is...he will score big in the 2nd or 3rd test.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    viru will rock on boxing day......

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Sehwag.....breaking Lara's test record in Australia....on Fast & bouncy tracks?????? You got to be kidding me!

  • POSTED BY bipulkumar on | December 24, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Very true. If anyone can break Lara's record, it's this guy. If you score 3 an over then you need 135 overs to reach 400, which means 270 overs for you because your partners will consume half of it. 270 overs is 3 full days ... and that's ruled out.

  • POSTED BY only_sehwag on | December 24, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Can't wait to see Sehwag break Lara's record

  • POSTED BY stuart_will_be_sehwags_broad on | December 24, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Tony Greig commented that 'Sehwag's got be the most remarkable player in the history of the game'. You can compare Bradman and Tendulkar because there are yardsticks for that sort of play, but stats are just trivia in Viru's case since there is no other player who plays like him. If the bowlers do not do ball tampering (read english bowlers in engalnd with duke ball : series after series) then this guy makes a mockery of the bowling profession. Well written Christian Ryan.

  • POSTED BY donda on | December 24, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Nice article, in cricket history only sehwag is the man who can score 500 in two days. But all dreams never come true and 500 is far far stretch. Let's be fair , if Sehwag at his best play for only one day then australia will going to lose 80%. This is huge difference which only Sehwag or Richards can make in test cricket.

    Looking forward to see some dashing batting by Sehwag in Australia, i hope he will not disappoint otherwise he will be known as homeland wonder.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    This man on his day or days can do anything. I never thought he would break Sachin's 200 so soon and so emphatically. I am now worries about Lara. Will his record stand the fury of the marauder from Najargarh?

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | December 24, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    I think Viru will start off with a 30 or 40 in the 1st innings of Melbourne.

  • POSTED BY NAP73 on | December 24, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    Yes, it is a lot more in the batsmen's favour these days. We need to use more equitable pitches etc. It would be fascinating to not use covers, but that is never going to happen. I do hope the bad light laws are revisited appropriately though.

  • POSTED BY sankar8000 on | December 24, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Waiting for Sehwag's Big Knock in Melbourne......Bring It On....

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    the opening paragraph and the conclusion line are good.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 24, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    That's Sehwag for you. If you see the ball hit it. If you don't see the ball, still hit it in your imagination so that you can hit it when you see it. How much he hates that cricket ball! Unbelievable.....

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 24, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    That's Sehwag for you. If you see the ball hit it. If you don't see the ball, still hit it in your imagination so that you can hit it when you see it. How much he hates that cricket ball! Unbelievable.....

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    the opening paragraph and the conclusion line are good.

  • POSTED BY sankar8000 on | December 24, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Waiting for Sehwag's Big Knock in Melbourne......Bring It On....

  • POSTED BY NAP73 on | December 24, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    Yes, it is a lot more in the batsmen's favour these days. We need to use more equitable pitches etc. It would be fascinating to not use covers, but that is never going to happen. I do hope the bad light laws are revisited appropriately though.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | December 24, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    I think Viru will start off with a 30 or 40 in the 1st innings of Melbourne.

  • POSTED BY on | December 24, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    This man on his day or days can do anything. I never thought he would break Sachin's 200 so soon and so emphatically. I am now worries about Lara. Will his record stand the fury of the marauder from Najargarh?

  • POSTED BY donda on | December 24, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Nice article, in cricket history only sehwag is the man who can score 500 in two days. But all dreams never come true and 500 is far far stretch. Let's be fair , if Sehwag at his best play for only one day then australia will going to lose 80%. This is huge difference which only Sehwag or Richards can make in test cricket.

    Looking forward to see some dashing batting by Sehwag in Australia, i hope he will not disappoint otherwise he will be known as homeland wonder.

  • POSTED BY stuart_will_be_sehwags_broad on | December 24, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Tony Greig commented that 'Sehwag's got be the most remarkable player in the history of the game'. You can compare Bradman and Tendulkar because there are yardsticks for that sort of play, but stats are just trivia in Viru's case since there is no other player who plays like him. If the bowlers do not do ball tampering (read english bowlers in engalnd with duke ball : series after series) then this guy makes a mockery of the bowling profession. Well written Christian Ryan.

  • POSTED BY only_sehwag on | December 24, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Can't wait to see Sehwag break Lara's record

  • POSTED BY bipulkumar on | December 24, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Very true. If anyone can break Lara's record, it's this guy. If you score 3 an over then you need 135 overs to reach 400, which means 270 overs for you because your partners will consume half of it. 270 overs is 3 full days ... and that's ruled out.