Virender Sehwag announces retirement from international cricket

Sudipta / 19 October 2015

Virender Sehwag has announced his retirement from international cricket and Indian Premier League on Twitter.

Indian opener Virender Sehwaghas announced his retirement from international cricket, more than two and half years on from his last appearance for India. Sehwag’s decision brings down the curtaion on a remarkable career in which he scored 17, 253 international runs across formats.

Sehwag is the only Indian batsman to score a triple century in Tests, and he did it twice. Sehwag’s hard hitting batting style made him one of the popular Indian cricketers. He scored 8586 Test runs playing 104 matches, Sehwag stands at fifth in India’s all-time list. In ODIs, he scored 8273 runs, with 15 centuries, including the second highest individual score 219 at Holkar Stadium, Indore in 2012 against West Indies. In 19 Twenty20 internationals, the right-handed  made 394 runs. Sehwag, also, occasionally rolling his hands took 40 Test wickets and 96 ODI wickets.

In 1999, Sehwag made in ODI debut. Initially was was considered as limited over cricketer. But, Sehwag’s greatest contribution came in Test cricket as he opened the innings. He did not start his career as an opener even in domestic cricket. It was the former India coach Johan Wright and former captain Sourav Ganguly played a gamble by promoting him across the batting order  during the Lord’s Test in 2002. Sehwag had debuted as no.6 the year before scoring a quick century against South Africa. But, he was reluctant moved up the order. But with a punchy innings of 84 in his first innings as an opener, his role was confirmed.  
Last week, Sehwag’s Indian teammate Zaheer Khan announced his retirement from international cricket. Sehwag was part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad and has several cricket records to his name.

Sehwag’s redefined the opener’s approach. The 2003-04 season has shaped his career, as he scored 1040 runs in Tests that was comprised of 195 at MCG and India’s first triple century, a 375 ball 309 against Pakistan at Multan.

Among the other highlights of his illustrative career,  his match-winning centuries in Mumbai, Galle, Kanpur, Kolkata, Colombo and Ahmedabad and an attacking 68 balls 83 on the fourth evening of the Chennai Test in December 2008 that propelled India towards victory on the fifth and final day. In the same year, he scored 151 at Adelaide in the second innings to secure a draw against Australia.

The incredible thing of his 23 Test centuries are 14 of them were 150 plus. In 2009 when India has become the number one team in ICC Test ranking Sehwag played a key role.

However, his ODI career was as great as his Test career. His overall average was 35.05 from 251 ODIs. But, in his day he used to murder opposition bowlers. His 14 of 15 centuries came in India’s victory. The highlight of his ODI career was 69 ball hundred,at the age of 22, 2003 World Final 82, 126 against England in the Champions Trophy, an unbeaten 125 at Hamilton in 2009, the 175 against Bangladesh in the inaugural match of the 2011 World Cup and his landmark double century against West Indies in December 2011.

Sehwag was also part of 2003, 2007 and 2011 World Cup squads. He was also in the 2007 World T20 champion Indian squad. As a vice captain, he occasionally captained India, in 12 ODIs scattered between 2003 and 2012 and four Tests from 2005 to 2012. He led India in their maiden T20I too, at Johannesburg in 2006. His last Test appearance was against Australia in Hyderabad in march 2013 and his last ODI came against Pakistan in January 2013. He lost his place in the T20 team in 2012.

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