In terms of cricket, the Nawab of Najibabad, Virendra Sehwag, belongs to the elite band of the world’s greatest players. In addition to being an aggressive power hitter, he also made a significant contribution to the Indian National Team. Throughout his cricket career, he made India win many matches and destroyed many world-class bowlers. As Brett Lee, one of the fast bowlers, put it, “Sehwag is the only player who can take you down and break your attitude, no matter how good you are.”
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- Virender Sehwag’s Childhood
- An overview of Sehwag’s domestic career
- The Struggle for Success
- The Begining of an International Career
Virender Sehwag’s Childhood
In his early childhood, Sehwag’s father Krishan Sehwag gave him a plastic bat and a ball to play cricket when he was just six months old. Growing up, Sehwag was devoted to cricket sports. It was not uncommon for him to spend many hours with the plastic bat and Ball alone, hitting it away, getting it back, and repeating the process.
Cricket became his passion, and he had no intention of changing careers. As part of the Delhi Cricket team, Sehwag played with several legends of cricket, including Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, and Yuvraj Singh.
An overview of Sehwag’s domestic career
The first-class domestic career of Sehwag was with the Delhi Cricket team between 1997 and 1998. In 1998/99, he was selected for the Northern Zone Cricket Team for the Duleep Trophy based on his outstanding performance in the home matches.
He scored one of the highest scores in the Duleep Trophy. As an individual cricketer, Sehwag scored 274 in 327 balls against the Agartala in the following season, making him the fourth-highest run-getter of the season.
In a Ranji match against Punjab, Sehwag scored 187 runs in 175 deliveries, which earned him a selection in the under-19 Team, playing against South Africa.
Since his teen years, Sehwag has been consistently good at batting; in the 2000-01 season, he scored two big tons and was called up for international duty.
Virendra Sehwag impressed the international selection committee with his batting skills. “Finally, his childhood dreams were coming true.”
The Struggle for Success
In April 1999, Sehwag made his Indian Cricket Team debut. The Mighty Pakistanis were the opponents of his first match. There were some World Class bowlers in Pakistan’s bowling lineup, such as Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar, and Asif. Throughout the world, Pakistani bowlers ruled with their bowling abilities.
Sehwag scored one run and was out in his first match. Sehwag’s start was bad; he was unable to contribute with bat and ball. It was nearly 1.5 years before Sehwag got a chance after his worst nightmare performance.
When the Zimbabwe tour came to India in 2000, Selectors were concerned about the new talents emerging. The young Indian cricketers were expected to play and represent the Indian National Squad for the Home Series. However, Virendra Sehwag did not get a chance to play. It was disheartening for him.
When Sehwag was selected for the Series against the Australians, he didn’t disappoint. He scored 58 off 54 balls in the fourth ODI in Bangalore. Additionally, he was effective with his bowling skills and got three wickets that earned him the Man of the Match award for the first time.
The Beginning of an International Career
In his international career, Sehwag’s best performance came against New Zealand when he opened the innings for India after being promoted up the batting order. Sehwag came as the opener for the Kiwis in that match and scored a century only in 69 balls. It was Virendra Sehwag’s impactful performance that secured him a regular spot as a middle-order batsman in One Day Internationals.