Cricket / Virender Sehwag's 219 is the highest score by a captain in ODIs

Zoom News : Dec 08, 2020, 07:50 AM
Cricket Desk: The year 2011 was an excellent year for both Test and One-Day International (ODI) cricket. The number of closely-contested Test matches was a delight and the ODIs weren’t devoid of any action either. The glorious World Cup held at the subcontinent laid to rest any speculation concerning the lack of interest in ODIs. There were many brilliant performers who entertained one and all; some with the bat and some with the ball.

Let us know reminisce on some of the most memorable knocks of 2011 in ODIs: 

Virender Sehwag – (219 vs West Indies at Indore)

When Sachin Tendulkar first broke the 200-run barrier, many believed that Chris Gayle or Virender Sehwag were the only other players who could possibly break that record in the near future. And not surprisingly, the Nawab of Najafgarh did exactly that as he carved a helpless West Indian bowling attack to all corners of the Holkar Cricket Stadium at Indore. His 219 came in an astonishing 149 balls at a strike-rate of just over 146. He was not in a great knick coming into this match. His last impressive game came quite a few months ago in the World Cup opener against Bangladesh where he scored 175.  And if somebody looks good to break the new record, it’s Sehwag himself.

Shane Watson – (185 vs Bangladesh at Mirpur)

Shane Watson took the Bangladeshi bowlers to the cleaners. When you repeatedly watch the replays of his innings, you realise that even the term massacre would have been an understatement. Never did it appear as if Australia were chasing a modest total of 230. In fact, even if they were chasing 330, they would have reached there with plenty of overs to spare the way Watson clobbered the bowling. His 185 came in just 96 balls at a strike rate of almost 193. After this innings, he achieved the feat of scoring the highest number of sixes – 15 – in an innings by any player. He remained unbeaten as Australia achieved the target with 24 overs to spare. Watson could have easily held the record of the highest individual score had the target been a little over 250 or 260.

Andrew Strauss – (158 vs India at Bangalore)

In what was one of the most exciting matches of the 2011 World Cup, Andrew Strauss single handedly put England on the road to victory against India. But, alas, he failed to carry his bat through the innings and the match ended in a nail-biting tie. Chasing a massive 339 to win in a World Cup game, Strauss never showed any nerves and made his intent clear right from the first ball as he effortlessly flicked Zaheer Khan’s inswinger to the boundary. His strike rate was consistent throughout the innings and Piyush Chawla’s freebies ensured that the pressure did not get to him. This knock could have been all the more memorable if England would have somehow pulled off a victory instead of a tie.

Kevin O’Brien – (113 vs England at Bangalore)

The Chinnaswamy Stadium at Bangalore saw a nail-biting encounter between Ireland and England during the 2011 World Cup. England was by far the most unpredictable team in the tournament, and you can say this with certainty looking at their performance against India and South Africa and then against Ireland and Bangladesh. Many expected England to coast to a victory in that match as the Irish were in a huge spot of bother at 111 for five in the 25th over chasing 328 to win. In came Kevin O’Brien with a very positive mindset and decided to take on the English bowlers at full throttle. He cleared the ropes with ease and eventually achieved the feat of scoring the fastest hundred in World Cup history. Ireland raced home with three wickets and five balls to spare and registered yet another memorable victory in a World Cup game.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni – (91 vs Sri Lanka at Mumbai)

India lost Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar with just 31 on the board chasing a difficult 275 to win the 2011 World Cup final. Virat Kohli offered resistance before he was caught and bowled by Tillakaratne Dilshan. Gautam Gambhir and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni were then involved in a crucial and unforgettable partnership that pushed India to the brink of victory. The significance of Dhoni’s knock is that he promoted himself up the order, ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh, and wasn’t afraid to shoulder additional responsibility. He was at his vintage best on the biggest stage. Gambhir was the unsung hero, scoring a brilliant 97. But it was Dhoni’s knock and the gesture of letting the team hog the limelight afterwards that stole the thunder at the end of the day that remains etched in memory.

There were other excellent knocks like Ross Taylor’s 131 against Pakistan and Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate’s 119 against England that were memorable too. But Taylor was dropped for more than four times, thanks mainly to Kamran Akmal, while ten Doeschate’s ton went in vain as England sailed to victory. Nevertheless, it was a magnificent performance by a batsman from a minnow nation.