NEW DEHLI: Virender Sehwag was hailed a ‘genius’ by teammates and opponents after smashing the highest individual score in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) with a scintillating 219 off just 149 balls.
Sehwag joined compatriot Sachin Tendulkar as the only batsmen to score double-hundreds in the 50-over format. The opener plundered 25 boundaries and seven sixes to surpass Tendulkar’s unbeaten 200, before being dismissed in the 47th over.
“In Tests, you get so much time to adjust your game, but in ODIs, you have to play your shots and maintain the run-rate,” said Sehwag. “Tendulkar is my role-model and I’m happy to have broken his record. It’s not easy to get 200 in ODIs, but there are some others who may do it... like Chris Gayle and Shane Watson.”
In a remarkable coincidence, India’s margin of victory of 153 runs on Thursday was the same as when Tendulkar hit his double-century against the South Africans in Gwalior.
‘I thrive on expectations’
“I think you can get a double-hundred like this only when you’re experienced,” he said. “The last time I played 47 overs I got 175, this time I got 219. As one matures with age, one tries to achieve whatever one wants. I thrive on expectations. People were expecting a 200 from me and I am happy I lived up to their expectations.”
Tendulkar, currently in Australia preparing for the four-Test series starting later this month, led the plaudits sending text messages to Indian reporters congratulating Sehwag.
“I’m very happy for Viru, and also happy about the fact that someone who has broken my record is my own team-mate,” wrote Tendulkar.
Pietersen lauds efforts
As Sehwag moved beyond 170, England batsman Kevin Pietersen tweeted his prediction that a world record was on the way and urged his followers to ‘watch a genius bat’.
“If you are a cricket fan, please switch on your TV right now and watch a genius bat. Sehwag destroying the West Indies ... world record coming.”
Sehwag, who is leading India in the current series in the absence of the rested MS Dhoni, had managed just 46 runs in the previous three matches. But he took advantage of a good batting track and short boundaries at the Holkar stadium to bludgeon his way to the double-century, which he said was a tougher achievement than his triple-hundreds in Tests.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2011.