Mumbai, India (4E Sports) – Before he plays his 100th Test match against England Friday, Indian batsman Virender Sehwag has received several encouraging words from former teammates and players who are all expecting an outstanding performance from him.
“There should be more players like Sehwag. Players like him would bring back crowd to Test cricket. I want him to score a hundred in his 100th match,” said 1983 World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev.
The 34-year-old Sehwag, known as the “Zen master of modern cricket”, scored his first Test century in almost two years – a blistering 117 — in the first game of the ongoing four-match series against England at Ahmedabad to give India a huge first innings score of 521 for 9 declared.
Aside from Sehwag, India also relied on the unbeaten double century by young batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and a nine-wicket haul by left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha to cruise to a nine-wicket victory and go 1-0 ahead in the series.
Former chief selector and ex-India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar said he was a big fan of Sehwag.
“He is an outstanding cricketer. He has played his (style of) game every time. There was a lean patch (in between) but he went on with aggression. If you see his Test record it is amazing, it’s a milestone for him. I am a huge fan of his. I hope he scores a hundred in his 100th test match,” Vengsarkar said.
Sehwag is set to join a select list of eight other Indian batsmen who have played 100 Tests, including Sachin Tendulkar (191), Rahul Dravid (163), V V S Laxman (134), Anil Kumble (132), Kapil Dev (131), Sunil Gavaskar (125), Dilip Vengsarkar (116) and Sourav Ganguly (113).
In 99 Tests, Sehwag has amassed 8,448 runs at a commendable average of 50-plus and a fabulous rate of scoring 82 runs per 100 balls.
Sehwag also holds the record of being the only Indian batsman to score a Test triple hundred on two occasions and has six scores of 200-plus in the highest form of the game.
His 200-plus knocks are 319 versus South Africa at Chennai in March 2006, 309 versus Pakistan at Multan in March 2004, 293 versus Sri Lanka at Mumbai in December 2009, 254 versus Pakistan at Lahore in January 2006, 201 not out versus Sri Lanka at Galle in July 2008 and 201 versus Pakistan at Bangalore in March 2005.
“The way I am getting out people say I am throwing my wicket. Not correct at all. I get out playing a shot and they say irresponsible. If the same shot fetches a boundary, they applaud,” he said in a recent interview.