Born in the suburbs of Delhi, Virender Sehwag has very elegantly paved his way to being called one of the best batsman the world has seen.
From his uncanny resemblance to Sachin Tendulkar’s style of play and build, Sehwag developed an invincible ability to hit the ball out of the pitch using minimal amount of balls and thoughtful footwork.
He is a right-handed batsman and a right arm off break bowler whose strong upper cutting and square cutting has often be cited by commentators.
Major teams he played for include the Indian national team, Asia XI, Delhi, Delhi Daredevils, ICC World XI, India Blue, Kings XI Punjab, Leicestershire, Marylebone Cricket Club, Rajasthan Cricket Association President's XI - presently still active in Delhi, Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab..
With no connections to the world of cricket, what sparked his love for batting was a toy bat he received as a gift when he was around seven months old.
Although his parents initially discouraged his ambitions in cricket, his constant pestering changed their minds to a point that they became his supporters.
In the making
During his graduation, Sehwag played his top game and was awarded a chance to play for the North Zone cricket team for Duleep trophy in 1997-1998.
After a successful series of matches, he played for the India U-19 team in the series against South Africa where his excellent stats earned him a place in the Indian national team.
Unfortunately, his ODI debut (in April, 1999) had not been up to the mark when he was sent off the pitch after scoring just 1 run. He had also conceded 35 runs in 3 overs in the same game. After such a discouraging performance, he was not given another chance to play for India for the next 20 months.
His subsequent matches had been unexceptional as well, considering his performance in the beginning of the 2007 World Cup.
Sehwag made his Test debut in late 2001 against South Africa. He scored 105 for the team despite their loss.
Entering the major league
His emergence to greatness was when he scored 114 runs off 87 balls against Bermuda, leading India to a victory, which in fact, had been the only match India won in the 2007 World Cup.
In due course, his performance graph climbed whilst he bagged extraordinary awards and broke records making his a name that would eventually be chanted during cricket matches.
Some of his remarkable achievements include fastest to score 150, 200, 250 and 300 runs in test innings, and fastest to reach the 150 and 200 marks in the ODIs.
He was presented with the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World award twice - in 2008 and 2009 and is the only Indian to receive the honour.
Virender Sehwag announced his retirement from the international cricket after he was out of the team for about two years.
However, he still manages to stay in the news in relevance to his school ‘Sehwag International School’, 22 students from which have succeeded on either national or international level in sports.
All in all, Virender “Viru” Sehwag remains an integral part of Indian cricket, a funny Twitterati with the right amount of sass and a personality that has undoubtedly made India stand proud at the world stage.