Virender Sehwag inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Virender Sehwag: Attacking, brash and a world-class opening batter

ICC Hall of Fame

By Jonathan Healy

Hit For Six!

India's star opener Virender Sehwag has been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame for a stellar cricket career that spanned for more than a decade.

The raw numbers don't do justice to the impact that Sehwag made during his distinguished playing career as the aggressive opener entertained crowds and kept opposition bowlers continuously shaking their heads while he was at the crease.

There was rarely a dull moment when Sehwag was batting, as the dynamic right-hander played his natural game on every occasion, attacked at will and continually dominated the best bowlers in the world at Test and ODI level.

Video ICC Hall of Fame 13 Nov 23
Virender Sehwag: ICC Hall of Fame 2023 inductee
Virender Sehwag: ICC Hall of Fame 2023 inductee

Records galore for flamboyant opener

Sehwag holds a bevy of batting records and none are as impressive as his impressive feat of having the highest score by an Indian in Test cricket for his quickfire 319 against South Africa at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai in 2008.

He is also one of just four players in the world to have surpassed 300 twice in Test cricket, with the right-hander also scoring a triple against Pakistan back in 2004.

A Test average of 49.34 and strike rate of 82.23 shows the class of Sehwag and it is hard to believe that the Delhi-born star was equally capable against the white-ball.

Sehwag scored a superb 219 against the West Indies at Indore in 2011, becoming just the second men's batter behind long-time teammate Sachin Tendulkar to hit an international double-century in 50-over cricket.

He sits perched alongside West Indies great Chris Gayle as one of only two players in the world to have scored a double hundred in ODI cricket and a triple-century in a Test match.

Video ICC Hall of Fame 13 Nov 23
Virender Sehwag's statement knock at CWC11
Virender Sehwag's statement knock at CWC11

False start provides extra motivation

Sehwag had a promising junior career and had already made plenty of runs at domestic level when he earnt a first international call-up for India as a brash 21-year-old in April 1999.

That first cap came in an ODI against arch-rival Pakistan in Mohali and Sehwag failed to make much of an impact coming in at No.7 when he was trapped in front and dismissed LBW by Shoaib Akhtar for just one.

It didn't get any better during Pakistan's run chase, as Sehwag contributed 35 runs and went wicket-less from three expensive overs as India fell to a seven-wicket defeat.

Selectors reacted by dropping Sehwag and the youngster had to wait another 20 months to play his second international match when winning selection for a home series against Zimbabwe at the end of 2000.

While he didn't make an immediate impression on his return to the international fold, it wasn't long until the runs started to flow.

A first international century came against New Zealand in Sri Lanka in August 2001 and a maiden Test call-up followed shortly after in November of the same year.

A young Sehwag looks on in the India nets // Getty Images
A young Sehwag looks on in the India nets // Getty Images

Test run provides spark required

Sehwag shone on Test debut coming in at No.6 as he scored a brilliant 105 in the first innings of India's opening Test against South Africa in Bloemfontein and soon was promoted into his favourite opening position.

In many ways it was the Lord's Test in July 2002 that proved the turning point of Sehwag's glittering career as he blitzed the England bowling line-up with a 96-ball innings of 84 that set the way for many of his contemporaries to copy his style of attacking from the opening ball of a match.

He then scored a tournament best 271 runs at 90.33 during India's successful ICC Champions Trophy run in 2002 and hopes were high he could do similar at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in South Africa the following year.

Sehwag managed a respectable 299 runs for the tournament and India had the two highest run-scorers at the event with Sachin Tendulkar (673) and Sourav Ganguly (465) providing the bulk of the scoring in a dominant display, only to fall short against a Ricky Ponting-inspired Australia in a one-sided final in Johannesburg.

Video ICC Hall of Fame 13 Nov 23
Virender Sehwag's first century at an ICC event
Virender Sehwag's first century at an ICC event

World Cup success finally arrives

Sehwag was part of India’s squad that won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, but he missed out on the final due to injury.

His World Cup triumph was to follow, however, and it came right at the twilight of his career like so many of his senior teammates as India claimed a second 50-over title by defeating Sri Lanka on home soil in the final in 2011.

Sehwag scored 380 runs at the tournament - the seventh most of any player - and his strike rate during the event (122.58) was better than any other batter that managed more than 200 runs.

The hard-hitting batter was rewarded by being named in the World ODI XI by the ICC that year to cap off a superb career that came to a close at the start of 2013.


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