Virender Sehwag, prominently known as an aggressive opening batsman, can certainly boast of a sizeable amount of records with the bat in hand. Till date, his knock of 219 against West Indies on 8 December, 2011 is the highest score in a one-day international innings. On the other hand, not only he is the only Indian to score a test triple hundred, but along with legendary Don Bradman, Chris Gayle and Brian Lara, he is the only player in the world with more than one triple hundred in the longest format of the game. However, very few are aware that the Nawab of Najafgarh has an amazing record with the ball, too.
Sehwag was often trusted with his offspin to break important partnerships and he took as many as 96 wickets in his one-day career of 251 matches. No one can deny the fact that he was extremely effective most of the times.
On 16th June, 2010, in an Asia Cup contest against Bangladesh, Viru was called into action by skipper Dhoni in the thirtieth over when Bangladesh was at 155 for 5. In the next five overs, the world witnessed something phenomenal from the Delhi sensation.
Sehwag’s first over went wicket-less but he got rid of Mushfiqur Rahim on the very first ball of his next over. Rohit Sharma took another wicket in the 34th over and then, Sehwag started his third over with the opponent reeling at 167 for 7.
The offspinner needed only five balls to wrap up the tail. A straighter and a regular offie rapped Suhrawadi Shuvo and Shafiul Islam on the pads and suddenly, Viru was on the brink of history. In his very next ball, Syed Rasel was clean bowled, Bangladesh were all out for 167 and Virender Sehwag, the maestro with the bat, achieved an astounding bowling figure of 2.5-0-6-4.
This figure is still the best in terms of bowling strike rates in an innings with a minimum of four wickets. Though Sunil Dhaniram and Paul Collingwood can claim the same, Viru holds the best figure among the three. Sunil, a Canadian slow left arm orthodox bowler, took 4 wickets for 10 runs against Bermuda while English medium pacer Collingwood gave away 15 runs to claim 4 wickets against New Zealand. Since all three needed 2.5 overs, they have an identical bowling strike rate of 4.2. However, the star from the biggest cricket-playing nation should be placed at the top of the list for conceding minimum runs.
Ardent cricket followers and passionate Sehwag fans usually brag about his devastating knocks, and rightly so, for he is the one with second fastest 200 and fastest 250 in test. But, each Indian should also feel proud for this feat the Nawab achieved with his exceptionally useful bowling skills.