lamboyant Indian batsman Virender Sehwag on Thursday created history by becoming the highest scorer ever in a one-day innings and the second cricketer after team-mate Sachin Tendulkar to score a double century in the fourth ODI against the West Indies here.
Sehwag smashed his way into record books with his stupendous 219, surpassing Tendulkar’s 200 not out against South Africa in Gwalior on February 24 last year.
This remarkable achievement gives Sehwag the unique distinction of being India’s top scorer in both Tests and ODIs. He had scored 319 against South Africa in Chennai in 2008.
The dashing opener reached the double century milestone when he square-cut Andre Russell for a boundary in the 44th over of the Indian innings, setting off wild celebrations in the stands and dressing room at the jam-packed Holkar.
He faced 140 balls and hit 23 fours and six sixes in his marathon innings. Tendulkar had made his 200 not out from 147 balls.
Sehwag punched the air with his right hand after reaching his double century before Rohit Sharma embraced him. He raised both his hands to acknowledge the cheers from the crowd.
The spectators in the stadium stood on their feet to applaud Sehwag’s stupendous feat while his colleagues in the dressing also gave him a standing ovation.
Sehwag then hit a few more lusty shots, one four and a six, before finally getting out to a tired-looking shot off Kieron Pollard in the 47th over. He faced 149 balls and hit 25 fours and seven sixes in his 219.
Just as he walked back to the pavillion, non-striker Rohit Sharma was the first to hug him before all the West Indies players one after another came to congratulate him on his way back.
Sehwag raised his hands towards the spectators and then turned again to acknowledge their cheers as he finally left the ground after a record innings.
Sehwag was dropped when on 170 with West Indies captainDarren Sammy missing out on a sitter.
Except for the ‘life’ gifted by Sammy in the 38th over, it was a vintage Sehwag who played his shots in his characteristic swashbuckling fashion on a belter of a pitch.
Incidentally, it was the same Samundar Singh Chauhan, the curator in Gwalior when Tendulkar scored his 200 not out, who prepared the Holkar Stadium pitch on which Sehwag made the highest score in an ODI innings today.
Ironically also, both the double centuries in ODI history were scored in Madhya Pradesh and on a pitch prepared by the same curator.
During his record breaking innings, Sehwag, who made his ODI debut in 1999 against Pakistan, also went past 8,000 run mark, at an aggregate of 8025 runs from 240 matches. He has scored 14 hundreds and 37 fifties in ODIs before today’s match.
He is the sixth Indian to have scored more than 8,000 runs in ODIs after Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin and Yuvraj Singh.
In Test cricket, Sehwag has scored 22 hundreds, including two triple tons, and 30 half centuries. He has scored 7,980 runs from 92 Tests at an average of 52.15 after making his debut in 2001 against South Africa.