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Cricket world bows to 'Smashing Sehwag'

Press Trust Of India
Dec 09, 2011 at 11:04am IST

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.

Cricket world bows to 'Smashing Sehwag'

India's Virender Sehwag scored 219 in the fourth ODI against West Indies at Indore on December 9, 2011. (AFP)

"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 on Friday.

Sehwag's Indian colleagues were expectedly in awe with players such as Dinesh Karthik and Murali Vijay congratulating the marauding opener.

"It's a great effort. Once he got a triple hundred (in Tests), it was just a matter of time for him to bring up this one. I am a big fan of him. The fact that he can even dispatch good balls to boundaries makes him so different," Karthik said.

Vijay said, "I was just watching it. I am so happy for him. It's unbelievable. He is such a great batsman. He batted like himself."

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 has improved tremendously in last 10 years and Viru is a key factor.

"The results are showing. He will be a vital cog in the Indian wheel in their upcoming tour Down Under. He has done well in difficult conditions and on various types of pitches. We can't compare Sachin with Sehwag. When he came, he tried to copy Sachin. But Sehwag has played very freely since then," More said.

Sehwag had athletes from other sports also glued to the TV sets and among them were Indian tennis players Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza who were effusive in congratulating Sehwag.

"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.

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar said, "Congrats Viru for that incredible 219 which was an epic innings! What timing and energy, indeed SehWhacked. Respect."

Not to be left out, Indian Premier League CEO Sundar Raman said, "If one did not see Viru's innings, could easily mistake the scorecard for a game of book cricket!"

Former India captain Ajit Wadekar said Sehwag's phenomenal knock of 219 was "out of the world" stuff.

"No batsman in the modern game destroys attacks quite like Sehwag when he is in the right mood, and when presented like he was with an easy paced batting pitch and short boundaries, there was always going to be problems for the West Indies. When he raced to his 100 off only 69 deliveries, Sehwag was unstoppable," said The Daily Telegraph.

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

"Virender Sehwag's technique is not revolutionary, just thrillingly heightened. The way he sees the game is so different," it said.

"What is different about Sehwag is his mind, the way he sees the game. Essentially, he is free. Where tradition insists that the new ball and fresh bowlers and aggressive fields are threats, he sees wide open spaces, a hard ball that will fly off the bat," it added.

The newspaper likened Sehwag to Brian Lara, saying he simplifies the game.

"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. If there is one player he is most like, it is Lara, in that he can hit unstoppably not just for hours but for days. It is they who have built monolithic scores most regularly.

"Yet Lara didn't open, and he often gave the first hour or so of his innings to the bowler. That has not been Sehwag's way," The Guardian added.

"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.

"He has got so many 200s. He has such confidence. He knows that he can do it and it was just a matter of time. This knock is one of the best. People will remember his knock for a long time," he added.

Wadekar said the knock would give Sehwag a confidence boost ahead of the Australia series later this month.

"The record-breaking knock will give him a lot of confidence. Having played such a knock, helping the team to 418 is not a joke. I'm sure the Aussies would be very worried now," he Wadekar said.

"It gives us a thrill. We have all the record-breakers in our team - Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid. This is the best Indian team ever," he said.

Former Test player Lalchand Rajput said that it was only Sehwag who could have broken Tendulkar's record.

"This was one of the best knocks I have ever seen. People were casting aspersions on him. Many were writing that he had not scored for the past five innings. But he answered them in the right way," Rajput said.

"If there was anyone who could have broken Sachin Tendulkar's record, it was Sehwag. Had he stayed there till the end, who knows he could have scored even a 250. A innings such as this before the Australia tour will give him a lot of confidence."

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.

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