As he embarks on the pathway to his final redemption, beleaguered former Indian opener Virender Sehwag‘s first objective is to return to match fitness and form in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy, where his side Delhi lost against India Blue in the opening game, though he scored a quickfire 59 off 38 deliveries.
Of late, the runs have dried up from the blade of the man who redefined the art of aggressive batting and made India a force to reckon with, both abroad and at home.
Without anything resembling textbook cricket, Sehwag pioneered the art of the unorthodox but effective batting, and teammate MS Dhoni eventually took on that mantle.
The late Bob Woolmer once called the Najafgarh native a sophisticated slogger, and he has been proved true many times. Sehwag doesn’t just slog, he decimates the bowler’s mental make-up with his fearless, almost rustic approach.
When on song, he is unstoppable, but while struggling, he is easy fodder for the bowlers.
Here is a list of five of his fastest half centuries in Twenty20 cricket:
5. 50 in 24 balls (71 from 41 balls – 7 fours, 4 sixes; Delhi v/s Chennai, Chepauk Stadium, 2 May 2008)
In just 12 overs, the Delhi skipper changed the course of the game with a belligerent century stand with long-time opening partner Gautam Gambhir as his side knocked the Chennai Super Kings off their lofty perch with a clinical performance.
Sehwag teed off in grand style, slashing SA’s Makhaya Ntini for six off the fourth ball of the chase, and followed it up with two more huge hits off Manpreet Gony. Such was the brutality he unleashed that skipper Dhoni was bereft of ideas in trying to contain the murderous rampage.
Largely favouring the off-side, the right-hander butchered T20 WC hero Joginder Sharma for 19 runs in an over and dished out similar treatment to other bowlers, reaching his half-century off just 24 balls. He fell with Delhi close to the target, finishing with 71 runs as Chennai eventually lost by eight wickets.