In a momentous decision, the International Cricket Council (ICC) recently bestowed the prestigious honor of Hall of Fame induction upon the legendary Indian opener, Virender Sehwag. This recognition underscores Sehwag’s unparalleled impact on the cricketing world, particularly in Test cricket, where his aggressive and relentless style of play left a mark on the sport.
Virender Sehwag, often hailed as one of the deadliest openers in the history of cricket, brought a unique and fearless approach to the game. His tenure as a batsman was nothing short of surreal, consistently snatching victory from the jaws of the opposition through his explosive innings.
During the early 2000s, Test cricket boasted a cadre of quality players worldwide. However, Sehwag emerged as a game-changer, revolutionizing the dynamics of opening batting in Test matches. Former BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly, acknowledged Sehwag’s transformative impact, stating, “It was a different era back then. Test cricket was so strong, but you just completely changed the art of batting in Test matches.”
One particular innings that epitomizes Sehwag’s prowess is his monumental 293 against Sri Lanka in 2009. In a single day of Test cricket, he defied an attack that included the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan. This innings showcased Sehwag’s extraordinary capabilities and his ability to dominate even the most formidable bowling line-ups.
Sehwag’s contribution to Indian cricket extends beyond Test matches. A two-time World Cup winner, he played a pivotal role in securing the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa and the ODI World Cup in India in 2011. His versatility and adaptability across different formats marked him as a true cricketing maestro.
Sourav Ganguly, a former teammate and BCCI president, lauded Sehwag as a cricketing great. He emphasized Sehwag’s class in all formats, stating, “You enjoyed playing all the different formats, and while you were good at one-day cricket, I think you were even better in Tests.” Ganguly pointed out Sehwag’s triple hundred in Multan as one of his favorite innings, highlighting the audacious sixes that marked the milestone.
Ganguly reminisced about the unconventional decision to make Sehwag an opener. Originally a middle-order batsman, Sehwag’s shift to the top of the order was a strategic move to harness his exceptional talent fully. Ganguly reflected, “We gave you that responsibility because although we couldn’t find a place for you in the middle order, we knew a player of your ability could not sit and warm the benches.”
Sourav Ganguly’s Words Of Praise For Virender Sehwag
Ganguly affirmed that the ICC made the right choice in inducting Sehwag into the Hall of Fame, asserting that he is “probably the best opening batsman” after Sunil Gavaskar. This accolade reflects not only Sehwag’s individual brilliance but also his profound impact on the team’s success.
Here is what Ganguly had to say: “What made you such a special player is the way you batted. You changed the dynamics of batting at the top in Test cricket. It was a different era back then. In the early 2000s, Test cricket was so strong with quality players all around the world, but you just completely changed the art of batting in Test matches. An innings that proves that is your 293 against Sri Lanka in 2009. To score that many in a day of a Test against an attack including Muttiah Muralitharan just showed what you were capable of.
You enjoyed playing all the different formats and while you were good at one-day cricket, I think you were even better in Tests. You could do it in all conditions and your triple hundred in Multan remains one of my favourite innings. You hit a six to get to 200 and then did the same to get to 300 – and you had told us you were going to do it too!
When you came back into the side you were a middle-order batsman, you had never been an opener, but that soon changed. “We gave you that responsibility because although we couldn’t find a place for you in the middle order, we knew a player of your ability could not sit and warm the benches. I remember when I told you that you should try opening, you were unsure because you had never done it. I believe no one is born to bat in any particular position and that you could do it because of the talent you possessed.”