‘Knocks to Remember’ is a new series initiated by The Cricket Lounge. In this series, we will pick some of the most impactful knocks in a player’s career. In this week’s Knocks to Remember, Kaushik Narayanan looks at some of the most impactful knocks of Virender Sehwag.
Virender Sehwag is one of the most entertaining batsmen this world has ever seen. Sehwag doesn’t have the records of Pontings and Lara, but definitely he will have a place as one of the most impactful batsmen in the history of cricket. Sehwag single-handedly changed the way Indian cricket looked at the opening spot, and paved way for a generation of hard hitters, especially in Test cricket.
Cricket pundits keep talking about technique, but Sehwag, with no footwork whatsoever, has destroyed many great bowlers. With his astute hand-eye coordination, he overcame all the “so-called technical flaws and scored almost 17,000 international runs.
100 vs New Zealand,1999 (ODI)
In the absence of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag was promoted to top of the order. Sehwag responded brilliantly to the call and scored a blitzkrieg century off just 69 balls. It was a typical Virender Sehwag innings, and his appearance, which was very similar to that of Sachin Tendulkar, led to instant “Is he the next Sachin” debates.
105 vs South Africa, 2001(Test)
India was reeling at 68 for the loss of 4 wickets, with Sachin holding on to the other end. Virender Sehwag, who was on his debut, got together with Sachin to put up a huge stand and, scored a brilliant hundred on his Test debut. This innings will always be remembered as one of the most special innings of Virender Sehwag, as this innings started his transformation from a ‘one-day dasher’ to ‘one of the best Test openers ever’.
84 vs England, 2002( Test)
The 2002 tour of England is remembered for Sachin and Dravid’s incredible batting that led to the beginning of a new era of Indian cricket. In the first Test of the series, Virender Sehwag, who was a middle-order batsman before this innings, was asked to open the innings by his captain. Sehwag accepted the challenge and gave a very aggressive start by scoring 84 runs off just 96 balls. Sehwag’s aggressive batting at the top of the order, laid the perfect foundation for the likes of Dravid and Sachin. It was a knock that established Virender Sehwag’s as India’s first choice Test opener.
195 vs Australia, 2003(Test)
On the boxing day Test of 2003, Virender Sehwag played one of the most destructive Test match innings ever. Riddled with 25 fours and 5 sixes, Sehwag demolished the established Australian bowling attack, in their own den. Sehwag showed to the world that Test cricket isn’t just about having a good technique and patience. Although, he missed out on his maiden double-hundred, he started the era of aggressive opening batting in Test cricket.
201 vs Sri Lanka, 2008(Test)
This innings at Galle is one of the best Test innings ever by Virender Sehwag. On a rank-turner, Sehwag took on Muralidharan’s class and the mystery of Ajantha Mendis, on a pitch that was turning square. It was not an easy wicket to bat, and Sehwag scored 201 out of 319 runs that India scored in the first innings.
83 vs England, 2008(Test)
Just after the horrible terrorist attack in Mumbai (26/11), India and England played one of the most intriguing Test matches of the recent times. England, who were not given a chance by many, held their nerves for the first 4 days of the Test, but a breathtaking knock from Virender Sehwag changed the course of the match in a flash, and India emerged victorious. Sehwag absolutely demolished the English attack and scored 83 runs off just 69 balls. This knock stands no where in the record books, but Virender Sehwag changed the entire course of the match with his blistering knock of 83 runs off 69 balls.
If you think Virender Sehwag has played better or more impactful knocks, join the discussion by commenting below.