Mumbai, Nov 21: Virender Sehwag, who redefined batting in Test cricket with his fearless approach to the new ball, is set to complete the milestone of 100 Tests in Mumbai on November 23, Friday, against England.
When one thinks of Sehwag, the first thing which comes to mind is his aggressive style of batting as an opener.
The Delhi right-hander's Test journey began in 2001 in South Africa as a middle-order batsman. In Bloemfontein, Sehwag, batting at number six in the first innings, scored a 173-ball 105 against the pace of Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Makhaya Ntini and Nantie Hayward.
Though India went to lose the Test by nine wickets, Sehwag had announced his arrival in the five-day format. Since then he has not looked back and has played 99 Tests in his own style.
Sehwag has represented India in 98 Tests so far and Mumbai will be his 99th for the country but overall 100th. He played one Test for ICC World XI against Australia in 2005.
Under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy he made his first appearance and slowly the skipper moved him to the top of the order. In 99 Tests, he has had so many partners opening the batting. But the most prolific association for Sehwag has been with his Delhi team-mate and current player Gautam Gambhir.
The 34-year-old is only one of the three batsmen to have scored two triple tons in Tests. Brian Lara and Chris Gayle are the other two. Also, Sehwag has a 293 against Sri Lanka. His firs triple ton, a 309, against Pakistan in Multan in 2004. He bettered that with a 319 against South Africa in Chennai in 2008.
The "Nawab of Najafgarh" has six scores of above 200 in Tests. Overall he has 23 hundreds and 32 fifties. His strike rate is 82.45, which is extraordinary in the longer format. And he averages 50.89 in 172 innings. The "Delhi Dasher" has 8,448 runs to his name.
When Sehwag walks onto the Wankhede Stadium on Friday (November 23) he will become the ninth Indian in the 100-Test club.
Though on many occasions Sehwag had openly stated that he would like to bat in the middle order, he was preferred as opener and has been one of the best openers for India.
Having scored a century on debut, it would be a memorable one if Sehwag get to a hundred in his 100th Test.
Former India captain Kapil Dev wants Sehwag to get a hundred in his milestone Test.
"There should be more players like Sehwag. Players like him would bring back crowd to Test cricket. I want him to score a hundred in his 100th match," Kapil was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
In recent times, Sehwag has been under fire for not performing. But he silenced his critics with a run-a-ball 117 in Ahmedabad Test against England.
Come Friday, Sehwag will be 100 Not Out. A special ton indeed!
India's 100-Test Club
Sachin Tendulkar 191
Rahul Dravid 163
VVS Laxman 134
Anil Kumble 132
Kapil Dev 131
Sunil Gavaskar 125
Dilip Vengsarkar 116
Sourav Ganguly 113