Friday, June 21, 2024

Cricket world raises a toast to Sehwag


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NEW DELHI: Virender Sehwag’s awe-inspiring double hundred, only the second in ODI history, continued to fetch him effusive praise with cricketers, athletes from other sports and international media bowing in admiration to his epic knock.

Sehwag smashed 219 off 149 deliveries in the fourth one-dayer against the West Indies on Thursday in Indore, overtaking his idol Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten 200 to become the highest individual scorer in an ODI.

Leading the praise was Tendulkar himself, who said he was happy that a fellow countryman had broken the record created by him.

“I am very happy for Viru and also happy about the fact that someone who has broken my record is my team mate and an Indian. Well done Viru,” the veteran right-hander, who is in Melbourne right now, said in an SMS.

The knock also created ripples far away in Australia, a country which India tours next for a Test series. Staying up to catch Sehwag’s brutality was Aussie swashbuckler David Warner and he claimed the 33-year-old left him amazed.

“Wow, Test match tomorrow but am still up watching Virender Sehwag score, hopefully, 200. Unreal, and he does [get the] highest ever. Well done mate,” Warner tweeted referring to the second Test against New Zealand.

Former chief selector, Kiran More described Sehwag as one of the greatest cricketers India had ever produced.

“One of the greatest cricketers India ever had. He is one of the biggest destroyers of spin bowling. Be it Test, one-day or T20, he bats with equal flair. If you see the records, Indian Test cricket have improved tremendously in last 10 years and Viru is a key factor.

Sehwag had athletes from other sports also glued to the TV sets.

“Holy cow is all I am gonna say about that innings. Amazing stuff by Viru. As Johnny Mac would say “you can’t be serious,” said Bhupathi.

“What an achievement. What a player. Hats off to Sehwag,” added Mirza.

Former India captain Ajit Wadekar said Sehwag’s phenomenal knock of 219 was “out of the world” stuff.

“I think the knock was out of the world. I have never seen anyone hitting so hard and so aggressively. His cuts, pulls were ferocious. We talk about Vivian Richards, the Aussies but in Sehwag we have someone who can play breathtakingly,” Wadekar said.

The international media too gave a round of applause to the rustic Najafgarh-lad, whose simplicity with words and high-risk batting has bowled over many.

“No batsman in the modern game destroys attacks quite like Sehwag when he is in the right mood,” said The Daily Telegraph.

The Guardian said Sehwag’s understanding of the game is quite different from his contemporaries.

“Viru doesn’t have Gayle’s shoulders or Jayasuriya’s forearms or Haydo’s pecs. He has none of the nervous intensity of Slater or the cross-eyed desire of Hayden. He doesn’t really have the insouciance of Gayle or Barry Richards,” it said.

“He is instead an almost implacable little Buddha, soft-edged, calmly accepting of the fates, whether they swing for him or against.” (PTI)


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