375 DELIVERIES, 39 FOURS, 6 SIXES
PAKISTAN V INDIA, 1ST TEST, MULTAN, 2004
India 675-5dec (Sehwag 309, Tendulkar 194*) beat Pakistan 407 (Hameed 91, Inzamam 77; Pathan 4-100) & 216 (f/o) (Yousuf 112; Kumble 6-72) by an innings and 52 runs
OPPOSITION ATTACK: Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed, Saqlain Mushtaq, Abdul Razzaq
That a batsman of Virender Sehwag’s all-guns-blazing approach made 14 scores of 150 or more in Test cricket, including two triples, is a truly extraordinary feat. As a Test match opener, he was a phenomenon, one of a kind.
It’s therefore surprising that he features just once in our top 20. Perhaps he’s paying the price for playing so many breathtaking knocks and splitting the vote. It’s worth noting that no batsman had as many different innings in our top 60 as Sehwag’s five.
‘I WANT TO HIT A SIX NOW’
I scored 70-odd in the first one-dayer before the Test series and then for the next four one-dayers I didn’t score any runs. I was telling myself that the moment the Test series came along I had to make it pay, because if I didn’t score a hundred or double hundred, then the selectors would drop me as I had not been consistent in previous matches. I scored 228 on day one and then the next day I started like it was the first, batting very cautiously in the first half-hour before starting to play my shots. When I was on 280, Tendulkar said, ‘Do you know that if you score two more runs you will break Laxman’s record for the highest score ever by an Indian?’
Next ball I nicked it and it went for four between the keeper and slip! Later, when I was on 295, before Saqlain Mushtaq bowled I told Sachin that whether it was slow, fast or whatever, I would step out and hit him for six. He said, ‘Are you mad?’ I said, ‘No, whatever will happen, will happen. I don’t care, I want to hit a six now’. I hit the ball for six and became the first Indian to score a triple century.
Virender Sehwag, ‘The Definitive’, AOC 120