Virender Sehwag retires from international cricket

Virender Sehwag, one of only four players to score two triple-centuries in tests, retired from international cricket on his 37th birthday, more than two years after he last played for India.

The big-hitting batsman, who redefined batting at the top of the order along with Australia’s Matthew Hayden, made the announcement on Twitter.

“I hereby retire from all forms of international cricket and from the Indian Premier League,” Sehwag tweeted, following up with a statement.

“I have always done what I felt was right and not what conformists thought to be right,” Sehwag said.

A batsman whose strike-rate was more than 82 in tests, Sehwag started as a middle-order batsman playing for Delhi in domestic competitions but became famous for his flamboyance at the top.

His superb hand-eye coordination enabled him to dominate both pace and spin with ease despite minimum footwork.

Sehwag scored 309 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004 and 319 against South Africa in Chennai in 2008 to join Donald Bradman, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle in scoring two triple-centuries in tests.

Not afraid to clobber the first ball he faced in an innings, Sehwag often got to a half-century or century with a boundary hit. He even reached his Multan triple-century with a six.

Sehwag also came close to another triple but was out for 293 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 2009.

He also held the highest ODI score of 219 against the West Indies in Indore in 2011 before Rohit Sharma scored 264 to break that record three years later.

Sehwag aggregated 8,586 runs from 104 tests with 23 centuries, 8,273 runs from 251 one-day internationals with 15 centuries and 394 runs in 19 Twenty20s.

A handy off-spinner and a good slip fielder, Sehwag brought belief to the side and formed a famous batting lineup along with Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman.

Sehwag was part of the teams that won the World Cup in 2011 and the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, both under Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He was also in the Ganguly-led side that made the final of the 2003 World Cup.

Sehwag, who moved to Haryana from Delhi this season, is expected to play domestic games for the state side this season.