Virender Sehwag has brought the curtains down on his amazing cricket career as he announced his retirement from all formats of the game, including the Indian Premier League on Tuesday via Twitter.
There were a number of reports on Monday night, which suggested Sehwag retired from cricket, only for the great opener to deny those claims, even if he admitted the announcement looks inevitable. Virender Sehwag last played for India against Australia in Hyderabad in March 2013.
Talking during a press conference in Dubai to launch the Masters Cricket League, Sehwag admitted he will have to announce his retirement from all form of the international game, as it is a prerequisite to participate in this tournament for retired cricketers.
Sehwag, though, insisted he hasn't quite made that decision yet, considering the Ranji Trophy season, where he is playing for Haryana after shifting from Delhi, is in full swing.
"If I am not retired I will not play," Sehwag said. "I will go back to India and announce my retirement."
The opener, via Twitter, revealed his retirement.
I hereby retire from all forms of international cricket and from the Indian Premier League. A statement will follow.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 20, 2015
The swashbuckling opener shall be remembered for his contribution to India cricket where he played 104 Test matches, 251 ODIs and 19 T20Is. Not only did he amaze fans in India, but also cricket lovers around the world his aggressive batting, which was a delight to the eye, not so for the bowlers, who were scared to bowl to him, understandably so, as he even hit the good balls for a boundary. Sehwag was always a prize scalp for any bowler.
Sehwag has scored 8586 Test runs, 8273 ODI runs and 394 T20I runs under his belt. Sehwag remains the only India batsmen to have scored a triple century, which is a huge feat in itself and to make it even more special he has achieved this (300 runs) feat twice. Sehwag scored 309 and 319 against Pakistan (2004) and South Africa (2008) respectively.
With Sehwag possessing an aggressive game, his style of play was more suited to coloured clothing, however, his record in the whites of international cricket was much better as he averaged 49.34 with 23 tons as compared to the 35.05 (15 centuries) in the ODIs. Such stats silenced all those who criticised the batsman for his lack of footwork as he more or less made up for it with brilliant hand-eye coordination.
Sehwag revolutionised the art of batting against the new ball in Test cricket as he took the attack to the opposition and made life difficult for the bowlers, who were helpless and had to go on the defensive early on. It was at that juncture when Sehwag was even more dangerous as he would step it up a gear and lower the morale of the bowlers by his attacking display in the first session itself, which more often or not brought India to a commanding position.
Sehwag instilled fear amongst the opponents whenever he walked onto bat irrespective of the surface he was playing. It did not matter whether the pitch had some swing or not, he just knew one mode of defence, which was to attack.
Sehwag dominated the bowlers like no other with such ridiculous ease and with such consistency that one doubts if we will ever get to see a batsman of such caliber and if we do see in the near future - god help the bowlers.