7 Lesser Known Facts About Virender Sehwag

7 Lesser Known Facts About Virender Sehwag

Born October 20, 1978, Virender Sehwag is a former Indian cricketer, who is known for his fearless batting at the top of the order.  A two-time triple centurion in Tests and one-time double centurion in One-Day Internationals (ODIs), Sehwag re-defined the way the game is played. On his birthday, Chinmay Jawalekar looks at 32 facts from the life of the basher from Delhi, who never took the conventional path as far as batting is concerned and always played the game his way.

1. Early Life: Sehwag was born into a Jat family to a grain merchant father. He first attended Arora Vidya School and later finished his graduation from Jamia Milia Islamia. His interest in cricket reportedly developed when he was gifted a toy bat, though he was just seven months old then. He later convinced his parents to allow him play the game, as he wasn’t inclined towards studies.

2. Childhood ban: His father once tried to end his cricketing aspirations when he was 12 after he broke a tooth during a cricket match. Sehwag however escaped the ban with his mother’s help.

3. First-Class debut: Sehwag made his First-Class debut against Tamil Nadu in February 1998 in Chennai. His maiden First-Class victim was former India player WV Raman. He didn’t get a chance to bat in the game that turned out to be his only First-Class match that season.

4. Maiden First-Class ton: In only his second First-Class game, two days after his 20th birthday, Sehwag scored his maiden First-Class century. Coming in to bat at No. 7, he scored 118 runs from 147 balls. His innings had 16 fours and three sixes. He also picked up two wickets in the match. It was a great season for young Sehwag, who scored 745 runs from eight matches at an average of just above 62. He scored three hundreds and four fifties in that season. Besides, he also took 14 wickets at 25.42 apiece. This led to his India call-up and he was also named in the 19 probables list for the World Cup 1999.

5. India debut: He made his One-Day International (ODI) debut against Pakistan in April 1999. It didn’t go the way he would have wanted it to, as he got out just for a single run and went for 35 runs in his three overs. He was dropped after the nightmarish debut and had to wait for a year and a half before getting his next game. But the turning point in his career came in his fourth ODI, where his Man of the Match effort (58 runs and three wickets) helped India beat Australia. A shoulder injury ruled him out from the remainder of the series.

6. Shot at opening and “Sachin’s clone”: Sehwag played in the middle order in his first 11 ODIs. In his 12th game, he was asked to open against New Zealand at Colombo. He scored 54-ball 33 in India’s losing cause. Three matches later, he smashed the same attack for a 70-ball 100 and pretty much established himself as an opener. It was also the first of his 15 ODI hundreds. His batting style was compared to Sachin Tendulkar’s and he was often referred to as the latter’s clone.

7. Announced his retirement on his birthday in 2015.

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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