Sehwag, Speed and Simplicity

Five charts from Test cricket that defined the endearing method and madness of the now retired ‘Sultan of Multan’


Virender Sehwag will perhaps be best known for his two triple centuries, one of which against Pakistan in Multan earned him the ‘Sultan of Multan’ moniker. Photo: HT
Virender Sehwag will perhaps be best known for his two triple centuries, one of which against Pakistan in Multan earned him the ‘Sultan of Multan’ moniker. Photo: HT

On his 37th birthday on Tuesday, former opening batsman Virender Sehwag announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket, and also the Indian Premier League.

“I hereby retire from all forms of international cricket and from the Indian Premier League. A statement will follow,” Sehwag tweeted on Tuesday.

Nicknamed the Sultan of Multan for his triple century against Pakistan in April 2004, Sehwag was known best for his brilliant hand-eye coordination, and became the most destructive opening batsman for India in all three formats of the game.

In a career spanning 14 years, Sehwag scored 8,586 runs in 104 Test matches at an average of 49.34, including 23 centuries and 32 50s.

In One-day Internationals (ODIs), he scored 8,273 runs in 251 matches at an average of 35.05, including 15 centuries and 38 50s.

In T20s he scored 394 runs in 19 matches.

He was usually the one who gave the Fantastic Four of the Indian middle order—Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman—the platform to build their innings on.

But the biggest highlights of Sehwag’s career were the two triple centuries he scored in Tests against Pakistan in Multan (April 2004) and against South Africa in Chennai (March 2008), says senior sports writer Ayaz Memon, who is also a columnist for Mint. “Those two innings showed us it was not only about hitting. Sehwag made it look easy but it also told us about the temperament of the man.”

It was in 2007, according to Memon, that Sehwag began losing his touch. First against England in April and then against Australia, he did not get many runs and that was the first time he started looking out of touch.

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