New Delhi: Virender Sehwag was at his blazing best as he stroked his way to 219 -- the highest score in ODIs – while becoming only the second batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to score a double-century in the 50-over format.
The swashbuckling opener came under a lot of criticism before this match after a run of poor scores, having made just one half-century in his last ten innings. Sehwag came into the fourth ODI of the series against West Indies with scores of 22, 26 and 0 in the three previous games and fans and pundits were worried that this form would harm India's chances Down Under.
But the 33-year-old batsman answered his critics in style with one of the best innings the world has ever seen in the limited-overs format, as he slammed 219 before was caught at the long-off boundary off Kieron Pollard. His innings consisted of world-record-equalling 25 fours and huge seven sixes, for a total of 142 runs in boundaries alone.
The stand-in Indian skipper scored a fiery 201 off 140 balls at a strike rate of 146.97, and reached the milestone in style with a boundary to deep backward point. Sehwag's feat, however, would not have been possible without a little help from West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, who dropped him off a Ravi Rampaul delivery in the 38th over when Sehwag was batting on 171. But then what is a great Sehwag innings without a little adventure?
Sehwag ran amok, plundering everyone. He raced to a century off only 69 balls, bringing up his first hundred since the World Cup opener with a withering cut that hurt the fingers of the fielder at point before speeding to the boundary. Sehwag is also the holder of the record for the highest score by an Indian in Test cricket. He made 319 against South Africa in Chennai in March 2008, while also scoring 309 against Pakistan in Multan in March 2004 for India's first triple century in Tests. He is now the highest scorer for India in Tests and ODIs.