Cricketing world raises a toast to Sehwag
Mumbai, Dec 9: Virender Sehwag, explosive batsman and one of the game’s greatest entertainers, has earned himself an enviable spot in the ODI record books scoring 219 runs in the fourth ODI against West Indies. The cricketing world went all out in their praise of the well-loved player’s achievement via Twitter and other media.
The most glowing reactions came from the two men who are perhaps the only threat to Sehwag’s record, unless Sehwag decides to beat himself.
“Well I did watch some of that innings by Viru... Brilliant striking!! Congrats on your 219... That's child abuse! (As) The Mask would say, Smoking!”, Chris Gayle tweeted in his inimitable style.
David Warner was delighted for his Delhi Daredevils team-mate as he tweeted, “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!”
While Sehwag was marauding the West Indies bowlers, Kevin Pietersen knew something special was about to happen. His Twitter update read, “If you are a cricket fan, [sic] pls switch your TVs on right now & watch a genius bat. Sehwag (is) destroying the WI. World record is coming.”
Pietersen’s words turned out to be prophetic. And when the record was broken, KP’s former England captain Michael Vaughan announced, “Have to say that Sehwag is the best player in the world to watch…”
MS Dhoni too conveyed his regards to the popular batsman via twitter saying, “Ppl thought there r a few who cd score 200 after [Sachin] paji,I always believed there is only one, one of our modern era legends- virender sehwag. Welldone viru pa, double it up.”
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly saw the innings as the perfect preparation for the forthcoming Australia tour.
“The double hundred will be a big morale booster for him with the tough Australian tour lined up. You will find the bowling attack, conditions different Down Under. This double ton will give him big confidence for sure. This is a great achievement and I congratulate Sehwag for the amazing feat,” Ganguly wrote on his official website.
Zaheer Khan, India’s pace spearhead returning to action in Australia, told bcci.tv, “It's a treat to watch Sehwag bat. He has scored two triple tons in Tests and now a 200 in ODI. You have to have Sehwag's batting style to do things like that. Once he knows it's his day, he ensures he gets a big one. The secret to Sehwag's success is that he keeps things very simple. He just sees the ball and hits it.”
Sehwag’s momentous innings inevitably drew comparisons with the legendary Sir Vivian Richards. Yuvraj Singh, India’s World Cup 2011 hero, tweeted, “I never saw sir Viv bat but I’ve seen Sehwag bat! What a player! 219 in a one day game is next to impossible!”
Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja shared, “When Viv Richards retired I thought it was end of entertainment. But then came Sehwag, the King of entertainment! Long live the King!!”
Popular Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh knows what Sehwag can do to a bowler’s psyche. “By far, Viru is the most dangerous batsman in world cricket.” said the spirited cricketer. “I have always said that on his day, no bowler can stop him. As his teammate, I really feel proud that a special player like him has achieved this feat,” he said.
Former South African all-rounder, Jonty Rhodes, who said he had “expected Sehwag to score a double century in ODIs” was seconded by Pakistan’s legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir.
“I have always remained a great fan of Sachin Tendulkar and when he scored the double hundred against South Africa, one name that crossed my mind was Sehwag’s,” Qadir was quoted as saying by news agencies.
The dashing opener also earned high praise from Krish Srikkanth, the Chairman of Indian selectors, who described him as “one of the greatest players [he has] ever seen” and the knock as “incredible”.
While most of the world delighted in Sehwag’s brilliance, experts tried to decode the secret behind the man’s extraordinary ability.
Commentator Harsha Bhogle wondered aloud, “If [sic] sehwag achieves these landmarks because he doesn't worry about achieving them”. Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar echoed his views, saying. “It must be somewhere at the back of his mind but Sehwag's 200s and 300s seem incidental as he goes on an all out attack.”
But there’s one message that Sehwag would cherish the most considering it came from the man he grew up idolising and whose record he broke while achieveing his feat. “I am very happy for Viru. It is even more satisfying that an Indian has broken my record,” Tendulkar said on the occasion.