Virender Sehwag has announced his retirement from international cricket, more than two-and-a-half years on from his last appearance for India. With 8586 runs from 104 Test 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 of 219. In 19 Twenty20 internationals, the right-hander made 394 runs. Aside from all those runs, Sehwag took 40 wickets in Tests and 96 in ODIs.
Though he made his ODI debut in 1999 and was initially seen as a limited-overs player, Sehwag’s biggest contribution was changing the way opening batsman approached Test cricket. A middle-order batsman from his Delhi days, Sehwag made his name opening for India in Test cricket after the former coach John Wright and Sourav Ganguly took a gamble on him during the Lord’s Test of 2002.
Sehwag went on to revolutionise the opener’s approach, and his strike-rate of 82.23 is the best for any batsman to aggregate over 2000 runs. The 2003-04 season was a breakthrough one for him, with 1040 run in nine Tests including 195 on day one of the MCG Test and India’s first triple century, a 375-ball 309 against Pakistan at Multan.
Incredibly, of his 23 Test centuries, 14 were in excess of 150. Apart from two monumental triple-centuries, Sehwag possesses four doubles. He was a key figure in the Test team’s ascendancy to No 1 in the ICC rankings, scoring centuries both home and away. In late 2012, Sehwag became the ninth Indian cricketer to play 100 Test matches.