In a recent conversation with Ranveer Allahbadia, Virender Sehwag shared an interesting anecdote about a missed opportunity to score even more runs in a cricket match. Sehwag revealed how his teammate Ishant Sharma, who was the number 11 batsman in the innings, urged him to take a single when Sehwag was batting at 200 runs.
Sehwag recalled a Test against Sri Lanka in 2008 when he had remained unbeaten on 201 in the first innings.
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Virender Sehwag is considered to be one of the greatest opening batsmen in Indian cricket history. His international career spanned over a decade, during which he represented India in 104 Tests, 251 ODIs, and 19 T20Is. Sehwag played a key role in India’s T20 World Cup triumph in 2007 and the ODI World Cup win in 2011.
In Test cricket, Sehwag’s contribution to the Indian team has been immense. He is the first Indian batsman to score a triple century in Test cricket, achieving the feat twice in his career. His aggressive approach as an opener helped India put instant pressure on the opposition, setting the tone for many memorable victories.
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“I played out five deliveries against Muralitharan and took a single off the last ball”- Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag would frequently take on the bowling assaults alone and lead India to big runs by himself. One such game took place in 2008 when India toured Sri Lanka; during the second Test of the series, Sehwag stayed unbeaten on 201 when only two other batters in the entire XI could crack double digits. His contribution helped India to a respectable score of 329, and the visitors ultimately defeated Sri Lanka in Galle by 170 runs.
During an interview with prominent YouTuber Ranveer Allahbadia, Virender Sehwag recounted how he could’ve scored more if Ishant Sharma, the innings’ number 11 batter, hadn’t persuaded him to take a single. The original question was about negative influences in the locker room, and while Sehwag began his response with players being “selfish,” he used his interaction with Ishant to illustrate his argument.
“Let me tell you a story. I was batting on 199. Ishant Sharma was my partner. I knew Ishant couldn’t play out Muralitharan and (Ajantha) Mendis. I could’ve been selfish that time, I could’ve taken a single to reach my 200 and give Ishant the strike. But I played out five deliveries against Muralitharan and took a single off the last ball,” Virender Sehwag said.
“Ishant came to me and said, ‘Bhaiya, I will play. You’re getting scared for no reason. I said okay, I scored 200, took a single, reached 201, and gave him the strike. Ishant couldn’t survive two balls. Then I asked him, ‘So you played them out? Are you done?’ Here, I was thinking that I can add more runs to the scoreboard and he said he will play them out. It wasn’t important for me to score 200. All I wanted was to be at the strike and score as many runs as possible for the team. So, I didn’t have that selfishness,” Virender Sehwag added.
Virender Sehwag had another significant contribution by batting 50 in the second innings as India scored 269, helping India to bowl Sri Lanka out for 292. The Sri Lankan hitters struggled in the run-chase as the hosts were bowled out for 136 by Harbhajan Singh (4/51) and Ishant (3/20), who had gone through their whole lineup.
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