Sehwag breaks Tendulkar’s record

Indore: Virender Sehwag, who on Thursday broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record of highest individual score in One-day internationals, said he was elated at going past the cricketing great.

Sehwag scored 219, surpassing Tendulkar’s unbeaten 200 that he made against South Africa in Gwalior last year.

“I was happy when Tendulkar scored 200 not out. I was sitting in the front and clapping and cheering when he did that. I am extremely happy to emulate Tendulkar and to have broken a record held by a great cricketer like him,” Sehwag said.

Riding on Sehwag’s double century, India defeated West Indies by 153 runs to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match ODI series.

He said the wicket at Holkar Stadium was a perfect batting pitch.

“It’s a true batting pitch. It’s a kind of pitch on which you can play defensive shots initially and then play your shots later to score,” he said.

Sehwag’s innings also powered India to its highest ODI score of 418 for five.

“While opening the innings, I told Gautam Gambhir that if we can show some patience on this track, we will be in for a big one as the wicket is a good one. The outfield is fantastic and the distance of the boundary is only 50 yards,” Sehwag said.

Sehwag, who has two triple tons in Tests, said he grew confident of reaching a double century when the batting Powerplay started. He was also dropped by West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

“It was only after the batting Powerplay started, I felt that I could reach double hundred. Also when Sammy dropped me, I knew that God was with me,” Sehwag said.

Sehwag thanked his family and thousands of fans.

“I want to thank my family and fans. I know people expected me to score a double century. Today when I wanted to hit a six, I just did that.”

The Indian cricketer said he was determined to make up for his poor performances in the first three ODIs against the West Indies.

“I have said this earlier also that the top-order needs to contribute. It was a wicket where one could score big runs if he stayed around for 30 overs.”

Asked whether he expected to score a double century in ODIs, Sehwag said: “After playing 10 years of international cricket you start thinking that you can do it when experienced. I knew I can score 200 if I can bat 50 overs. When I was there for 47-odd overs last time (against Bangladesh at Mirpur earlier this year) I scored 175 and here I was at crease for some 46 overs,” he said.

Sehwag was given a cheque of Rs. 10 lakh by the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association.

“I won’t mind coming back here again, score a double hundred and take another Rs. 10 lakhs,” he said in a lighter vein.

Sehwag was all praise for debutant leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who claimed 3/43 in Thursday’s match.

“Rahul Sharma was impressive today. He is a good prospect because he bowls at around 90 km per hour. On a wicket which stops and turns, he will be difficult to face by batsmen,” said Sehwag.