An advocate of the "see-ball-hit-ball" school of cricket, Virender Sehwag was a nightmare for the bowlers with a willow in his hand. On his day, little did he care about the conditions, ground or the reputation of the bowler and his biggest strength was reducing batting to its bare essentials. Sehwag's quick wit and devil-may-care attitude have never been a secret.
The former Indian batsman was one of the liveliest characters on the pitch, be it whistling while fielding in the slips or humming Kishore Kumar songs to maintain his concentration while batting. He single-handedly revolutionised the role of the opener in Test cricket while also being instrumental in attracting crowds to watch the game.
Scoring at an unbelievable strike rate of 82.23, he made 8586 runs in the 104 Test matches he played, he terrorised the bowlers for more than a decade with his aggressive style of batting in the longer format of the game.
The ‘Sultan of Multan’, as he was fondly called by his fans, was an out-and-out entertainer during his playing days. Whenever he walked out with a bat in his hands, the crowd was assured of some high voltage action as boundaries would rain and runs would flow. The destructive opener, who quit international cricket last year on his birthday (20th October), has not stopped entertaining fans off the field.
Here we bring some of the incidents from his playing days and a couple of his recent tweets to prove the same.
#1 When he hit a six off Saqlain Mushtaq’s bowling to reach his maiden Test triple
During the first match of India’s tour of Pakistan (March 28-April 1, 2004), Sehwag scored his career’s first triple century. He was accompanied with the batting great, Sachin Tendulkar, who told him, “If you try to hit a six I will hit you on the bum.”
Tendulkar backed his advice with an example of his innings at Melbourne in 2003, where he tried to hit a six on 195 and got out in the process. India were in a strong position at that time, but after the fall of Sehwag’s wicket, the Indian innings crumbled and they failed to put a big score, eventually losing the match.
This whole conversation calmed the explosive opener down and he refrained from hitting sixes until he reached 295.
When he reached 295 runs, he was about to become the first Indian batsman to hit a triple century in history and Sachin was aware of the same so he went to Sehwag to have another little chat:
Sachin: “Tu six nahi marega.” (You will not hit a six.)
Sehwag: “Agar Saqlain Mushtaq ball karne aaya to main six jaroor marunga.” (If Saqlain Mushtaq comes to bowl this over then I'll definitely hit a six)
Well, he did come to bowl and the right-hander hit him for a six and in the process became the first Indian to score 300 runs in Test cricket.
This was also the last match of Mushtaq’s career as he never donned Pakistan’s jersey after that.