Since his international career started, he has continued to play for Delhi in the domestic competition whilst he is not occupied with international duty and has captained North Zone to victory in the Deodhar Trophy in 2004–05 and 2005–06. He also had a short stint with Leicestershire in county cricket in 2003, but a back injury led to a mutual termination of the contract.
Sehwag’s ODI career started poorly when he scored 1 against Pakistan in Mohali in April 1999 when he fell lbw to Shoaib Akhtar. His bowling performance was also ineffective and expensive, conceding 35 runs off 3 overs. He did not get another chance in the national team for 20 months.
Sehwag was not given another match until the home series against Zimbabwe in December 2000. Sehwag rose to prominence in his fourth ODI match in March 2001 when he scored 58 off 54 balls, against Australia in Bangalore. Combined with his three wickets, he help earn India a victory and was awarded his first man of the match award. He followed this with an unproductive tour of Zimbabwe in mid-2001.
Sehwag had his international breakthrough in Sri Lanka in August 2001 when he was promoted to the opening slot for the tri-series also involving New Zealand. The promotion to open the innings came because regular opener Sachin Tendulkar was absent due to a foot injury. In the match against New Zealand that was to decide the finalist, he scored his maiden century from 69 balls. At the time, the century was the third fastest ODI century for an Indian behind Mohammad Azharuddin‘s 62 ball effort and Yuvraj singh’s 64 ball effort. This was his first score beyond 50 in ten matches and saw him named man of the match. This performance earned him a regular spot in the ODI squad in the middle-order. He bettered his own record by hitting a 60-ball century against New Zealand during the 2009 tour. An innings of note in 2002 was the 22 ball half-century against Kenya in Bloemfontein, tying the second fastest 50 by an Indian. Because of his attacking cricket stroke plays, Sehwag has got many fans, including the WestIndies legend Desmond Haynes, who admitted that he is a great fan of him.
With Ganguly’s injury in the India-England ODI Series in January 2002, Sehwag received another opportunity to open the innings which he seized by scoring 82 from 64 balls in Kanpur in an eight-wicket Indian victory. With good performances as opener, Sehwag was made a permanent fixture at the top of the innings. Sachin Tendulkar, who opened in the England ODI series, was moved to middle order – a strategy that reaped dividends for India in 2002 in ODI matches. In the England series and the preceding tour to South Africa, he compiled 426 runs at 42.6 with four half-centuries .
After modest returns on the tours of the West Indies and England in early and mid-2002, he scored 271 runs at 90.33 in the2002 ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka, with two man of the match performances. After running out Ian Blackwell, he was involved in a 192 run partnership with Ganguly, scoring 126 from 104 balls to help set up an eight wicket victory against England in a group match. He then scored 58 from 54 balls and took 3/25 including two wickets in the final over to help defeat South Africa by 10 runs to help India progress to the final.
In late 2002 he scored an unbeaten 114 from 82 balls that included a 196 run partnership with Ganguly to lead India to a nine wicket win over the West Indies in Rajkot. He was the only batsman to score a century in the 7 match New ZealandODI Series where he made two centuries – 108 in Napier in an Indian defeat and 112 in Auckland in a one-wicket victory.
Virender Sehwag had a mediocre 2003 Cricket World Cup, scoring 299 runs at an average of 27, he top scored with 82 in the loss against Australia in the final.
Later in 2003, he scored his fourth century and earned Man of the Match award against New Zealand in Hyderabad, scoring 130 and putting on a 182 run partnership with Tendulkar, to lay the foundations for a 145 run victory. In spite of it, Sehwag struggled for consistency in 2003 and 2003/04 ODI series where he had only one century and 3 fifties, two against minnows – Bangladesh and Zimbabweand one against Pakistan, in 22 matches.
Even with his inconsistent form, he earned 3 MoM awards in 2004/5 and 2004/05 ODI season with one award each against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In the match against Pakistan in Kochi he scored 108 off 95 balls, his first century in eighteen months which set up a 95 run victory.
Sehwag then started a two-year streak without a century in ODIs, as well as having his ODI tour of Pakistan in early 2006 curtailed due to a shoulder injury. His drought in limited overs cricket has puzzled cricket experts because of the consistent performances in Test matches with a high scoring rate has not translated into significant contributions in the ODI format of the game. Sehwag was dropped from the ODI Squad for the WI-IND 4 Match ODI series. With debate over whether he deserved to be included in the 2007 Cricket World Cup squad, captain Dravid’sinsistence on his retention paved the way to being named in the World Cup squad. However, despite this assurance, Sehwag’s form continued to decline.
Sehwag started the 2007 World Cup in poor form, only being picked for the side because of Rahul Dravid’s wishes. He scored poorly in the first group match but bounced back to hit a magnificent 114 from 87 deliveries against lowly ranked Bermuda. The Indian team scored 413–5, the highest team total in a World Cup match, and went on to win the match but this was their only win in the tournament.
On 11 March 2009, Sehwag blasted India’s fastest ODI hundred against New Zealand by reaching 3 figures in just 60 balls. Eventually, he led India to win its first series win in New Zealand.
On 8 December 2011, Sehwag scored his highest ODI score against West Indies at Indore slamming 219 runs off only 149 Balls. In the same innings, he also crossed 8,000 runs in ODI Cricket.
Sehwag’s scoring rate is extremely quick, at 103.44 runs per 100 balls (it is exceeded only by one current player: Shahid Afridi, who has a much lower average). He has had more success in run chases, scoring seven of his thirteen centuries while chasing. He has led India on seven occasions, due to the unavailability of the incumbent due to illness, injury or rotation policy. In December 2011 Sehwag scored 219 in 149 deliveries against West Indies at Indore. He has the record of 2nd highest individual score in ODI.
An innings-by-innings breakdown of Sehwag’s Test match batting career, showing runs scored (red bars) and the average of the last ten innings (blue line).
Sehwag’s maiden century in mid-2001 in Sri Lanka was not enough to gain selection in the Test team for the corresponding series. Sehwag made his Test debut in late 2001 in the First Test against South Africa in Bloemfontein as a middle-order batsman. He scored 105 on debut despite the South African win. He was given a one match suspension by ICC match referee Mike Denness for overappealing in the Second Test in Port Elizabeth, which led to political dispute amongst the ICC and the two countries. He returned for the home series in 2001–02 against England and Zimbabwe. After scoring two half-centuries in the preceding series, he was promoted to a makeshift-opener on the 2002 England tour after the failure of previous openers and an experiment with wicket-keeperDeep Dasgupta. He scored 84 in the new role at Lord’s and then a century in the Second Test at Trent Bridge, and has batted there in Test matches ever since. He scored his maiden home-century of 147 in the First Test against the West Indies in the 2002–03 home season in Mumbai, which was at the time his top score in Test matches, earning him his first man of the match award. After a poor tour to New Zealand, he scored passed 50 for the first time in 9 innings when he scored 130 in a Test at Mohali against New Zealand in late 2003.
He then scored 195 against Australia on Boxing Day 2003 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. His dismissal on the first afternoon led to an Indian collapse and eventual defeat.
In early 2004, he became the only Indian to score a triple century in Test cricket, with 309 against Pakistan in the First Test in Multan, beating V. V. S. Laxman‘s previous Indian record(281 against Australia) and helping India to a total of 5/675, the highest ever against Pakistan. It was Sehwag’s sixth Test century in 21 Tests. India went on to win by an innings, with Sehwag named man of the match. He also scored 90 in the Second Test defeat in Lahore and was named man of the series for his efforts after being the highest run scorer and average for the series. He later auctioned the bat with which he made the triple century, for Rs. 70,000, to aid in relief efforts for the tsunami victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
Sehwag failed on the tour of Bangladesh, but on the 2005 home series against Pakistan, he scored 173 in Mohali, 81 inKolkata and then 201 in Bangalore, totalling 544 runs at an average of 90.66 to win the man of the series award. He passed the 3000 run mark in Tests during the Bangalore Test, becoming the fastest Indian to reach the mark in terms of innings played. His performances over the preceding 12 months earned him selection in the ICC Test Team of the Year as well as nomination for Test player of the year.In the First Test of the 2004 Border Gavaskar Trophy inBangalore, Sehwag was fined for showing “serious dissent” towards umpire Billy Bowden following an LBW dismissal.Replays showed that he had hit the ball off the middle of his bat onto his leg, which later led to an apology from Bowden. Sehwag scored 155 in the Chennai test match to set up a triple-figure lead for the Indians, but the match was rained out on the final day with the Indians requiring 229 for victory. In the home series against South Africa that year, he scored 164 in the drawn First Test in Kanpur,and 88 in the Second in Kolkata, which India won to claim the series. Sehwag was again named man of the series.
He earned selection for the ICC World XI which played Australia in the 2005 ICC Super Series, where he top scored in the first innings with 76. He attracted some criticism at the end of 2005, having failed to pass 50 in four Tests against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. He also missed the Second Test against Sri Lanka in Delhi due to illness, but returned to the team in the following match in Ahmedabad and captained the Indians to victory whilst Rahul Dravid was ill.
During the 2006 West Indies tour, Sehwag narrowly missed out on scoring a century in the opening session of the Second Test in St Lucia
, ending with 99 at the interval.
He went on to compile 180 in just 190 balls, and also collected four wickets for the match to be named man of the match.
Although Sehwag had collected more than 50 wickets in ODIs, he was substantially used as a Test bowler for the first time on the West Indies tour, taking nine wickets in the first two Test matches when he was used in the absence of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh
as India opted to only use one specialist spinner.
He had previously only three wickets at Test level 
. He was also fined in the First Test for excessive appealing.
Poor form saw Sehwag being dropped from the Test team in 2007. In December 2007, he was recalled for India’s tour of Australia after being omitted form the list of probables, amid calls for his return by several commentators, most notablyIan Chappell. 
Though he was omitted from the team for the first two matches, both of which India lost, he was picked for the third Test at the WACA in Perth after scoring a century in a tour match against the ACT Invitational XI. He played a key part in India’s victory, making 72 runs at a brisk pace and taking 2 crucial wickets He scored a match-saving 151 in the second innings of the fourth Test in Adelaide. This was his first century in the second innings of a test match, and was notable in that he rejected his usual, aggressive batting style in favour of a more defensive approach which was the need of the hour.
Sehwag continued his good form against South Africa, in the home series in April 2008, scoring 319 in the first Test at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, having reached 300 off just 278 balls, the fastest triple century in test history. Sehwag became only the third batsman after Sir Donald Bradman and Brian Lara to score 2 triple centuries in Test Cricket. He scored 257 runs the third day of the match, which was the most runs scored by an individual batsman on a single day of a Test match since 1954, when Dennis Compton made 273 runs on the second day of the Nottingham Test against Pakistan.
He has a habit of making big centuries, with his last eleven centuries having all been over 150, including two triple centuries and further three double centuries which surpassed Sir Donald Bradman‘s record of having seven consecutive centuries beyond 150.
In the first test against England in Chennai in December 2008, Sehwag’s rapid 83 off just 68 balls, in the last session of the fourth day, set India up for its record run-chase of 4/387, the highest successful target on Indian soil. He got the man-of-the-match award despite Sachin Tendulkar scoring an unbeaten century later in the same innings and Andrew Straussscoring a century in each of England’s innings.
He has been noted for his record against Pakistan, averaging over 90 against and in Pakistan, scoring four centuries against India’s arch rivals. The disparity in his average in the first and second innings is often noted, being 68 and 25 and all but one of his fifteen Test centuries having come in the first innings.
During Sri Lanka’s tour of India in 2009, in the 3-match test series he finished with the highest run getter of the series with 491 runs. In the last test match, he made 293 with the help of which India won the test match. In this innings he established many records:
Indian Premier League
Sehwag was the captain of the Delhi Daredevils in the first two edition of Indian Premier League, before he quit the position to concentrate more on his batting transferring it to Gautam Gambhir. However, for the fourth edition of IPL, he was the only player to be retained by the franchise, again as captain of the Delhi Daredevils. Sehwag again led the team in the fifth edition of the league, where he made the record of being the only batsman to score five consecutive half centuries in T20s.
Sehwag in Non-India Colours
He was selected in the ICC World XI for the 2005 ICC Super Series against Australia in late 2005, but only managed 64 runs at an average of 21.33. Earlier in 2005, he was selected for the Asian Cricket Council XI for the fundraising match against the ICC World XI in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Virender Sehwag plays a hook shot
Sehwag was often compared to Sachin Tendulkar in his early days due to the similar batting style, build and appearance. He has acknowledged numerous times that he consciously attempted to model his playing style on Tendulkar’s in his youth.
Sehwag’s technique is often cited as being particularly unorthodox, often backing away (considered technically incorrect) to free his arms whilst playing his shots, in particular to cut or drive spinners inside out. He is frequently cited by commentators for his extremely strong (physically) square cutting and upper cutting and power through the off-side. He is also an excellent player of the late cut. In particular, his tendency to strike the ball in the air and risk dismissal is a trait which has seen him noted for his chancy and adventurous mindset. He is also noted for a relative lack of footwork, with his timing often attributed to his eyesight. Of late, Sehwag has shown a proclivity to be dismissed by inswing deliveries, something attributed to his leaden-footed batting style. He has also got dismissed playing the cut shot when the ball was too close to his body to cut, especially in limited over matches.
Virender Sehwag takes strike for MCC
Virender Sehwag is often noted for his extremely attacking style of batting, and in 2005 he was described by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack as the “most exciting opener in the world” due to his aggressive style in Test matches, his strike rate being inferior only to that of Adam Gilchrist and Shahid Afridi. Sehwag has also been noted for his apparent disregard for the match situation, exhibited by aggressive batting even when his team is in a poor position or after being outmanoeuvred by the bowler in the recent past. This is a two-edged sword, as it allows him to not be psychologically hindered by previous failures, but can also lead to excessive aggression. He was quoted by Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer as a sophisticated slogger. But over the years, his style has changed from “reckless hitting” to that of “controlled aggression”, according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Previously Sehwag was known predominantly as an offside player, with a weakness against straight short pitched bowling. However, in the last two years he has improved his leg side and bouncer hitting considerably. This is shown in the recent ODIs against New Zealand where he utilised the pull, hook and flick shots to devastating effect.
As of 15 March 2010, Sehwag has an average of nearly 68 in the first innings of test matches where he has scored 5130 runs, 18 centuries and 12 fifties in 76 matches. In the second innings, his average drops to 31 and has scored 1561 runs, an only century and 9 fifties in 54 innings. The first and second innings difference of 37 runs is one of the highest and indicates a lack of ability in dealing with more difficult batting conditions as the pitch deteriorates. However, his match-saving second-innings 151 against Australia at Adelaide during the 2007–08 Border-Gavaskar series, and a match winning 92 in trying situations at Nagpur during the 2008–09 series, went a long way towards repairing that image. In the 2008 Test series against England, Sehwag played a key role in the fourth innings of the first Test in Chennai. He amassed 83 runs in 68 balls, which helped India chase down an improbable target of 387 with six wickets to spare. This was the highest successful run chase in India, and the fourth highest in Test history. For this effort, Sehwag was adjudged Man of the Match. On 12 August 2011, Sehwag became only the third Indian in history to achieve a king pair (2 golden ducks consecutively) and the 15th player to do that of all time, but weeks later he again scored crucial and aggressive pair of 55 against West Indies.
In eight Test matches since April 2012, he has managed to score just 408 runs at an average of 31.38, with highest being 117. In the six ODIs, in the same period, he scored 183 runs at an average of 30.5 and was dropped for the ODI series against England. His last ODI century was the double hundred against the West Indies in December 2011. Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott has hinted that it might be the end of the road for Sehwag.”I don’t think he’ll play again. I think it’s because India have gone the right way. It took a little while to come around to it. They’ve given youth a chance,” Boycott told a cricket website.
Sehwag married Aarti Ahlawat in April 2004 under heavy security cover in a widely publicised wedding hosted by Arun Jaitley, the then Union law minister of India, at his residence. The couple have two sons, Aryavir, born on 18 October 2007 and Vedant, born in 2010.
Sehwag’s aggressive batting has found success at the top of the batting order. He has scored centuries (100 or moreruns) on 22 occasions in Test cricket and in 15 One Day International (ODI) matches but is yet to score a century in aTwenty20 international. In Tests, Sehwag has scored centuries against all the Test-cricket playing nations exceptBangladesh and Zimbabwe, and is sixth on the list of leading Test century makers for India. In 2001, he became the eleventh Indian player to score a century on Test debut, with 105 runs against South Africa. His centuries have been scored at fourteen cricket grounds, eight of which were outside India. He has made six scores of 200 runs or more, the most by an Indian batsman, of which a record three have come against Pakistan. Sehwag is the only Indian to have scored a triple century (300 or more runs), and has done so twice—309 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004 and 319 against South Africa in Chennai in 2008, the later being the fastest triple century in Test cricket with 300 coming up off just 278 balls. In ODIs, Sehwag’s maiden century was made against New Zealand at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo in 2001. His highest score of 219, the highest ODI score ever, was made against the West Indies at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. He has been dismissed five times in the nineties.
- Highest individual score in history in an ODI match 219 against West Indies on 8 December 2011 at Indore, surpassing previous record by Sachin Tendulkar (200)*. This record is no longer held by him it has been surpassed by Rohit Sharma by making 264 runs against Sri Lanka on 13 November 2014.
- Fastest 250 in Test cricket in terms of balls faced (207).
- Fastest 300 in Test cricket in terms of balls faced (278).
- Most Test runs in a single day by an Indian. Sehwag made 257 in a day against SA in Chennai. He surpassed this in making 284 in a day against Sri Lanka. The latter was the second consecutive innings in which India scored more than 400 runs in a single day in Tests. Sehwag also made a century at faster than a run a ball on the previous occasion.
- Only Indian batsman to have scored two triple centuries in Test cricket. He is one of the four batsman in the history of Test cricket to score two triple centuries, alongside Australia’s Sir Donald Bradman, and the West Indies’ Brian Lara andChris Gayle.
- Second fastest century in ODI cricket by an Indian – 100 runs off 60 balls against New Zealand in 2009, after Virat Kohli– 100 runs off 52 balls against Australia in 2013.
- Second fastest ODI 50 by an Indian. – a record, he shares with Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev and Yuvraj Singh – when he took 22 balls against Kenya in 2001
- Six double centuries – the first three of which came against Pakistan.Greg Chappell and Thilan Samaraweera are the other players to have scored multiple double centuries against Pakistan (2). Sehwag and Tendulkar are the only Indians to have made six Test double centuries.
- Highest score by an Indian batsman in Test cricket. He first achieved this when he scored 309 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004, and bettered his previous record in March 2008 at Chennai against South Africa by scoring 319.
- Fastest triple century: His second triple century scored at Chennai on 27–28 March 2008 against South Africa was the fastest in terms of balls faced by any batsman (off 278 balls).
- Consecutive 150+ scores in Test cricket: He holds the record for consecutive test hundreds converted to scores of 150+, at 11.
- He is one of the only five players to have scored more test hundreds than test fifties (15c/14f), along with Don Bradman(29c/13f), Mohammad Azharuddin (22c/21f),Matthew Hayden (30c/27f) and Kevin Pietersen(13c/11f) as on 7 August 2008
- Two consecutive double century partnerships in a Test innings. He achieved this record, for the first two wickets inChennai on 27–28 March 2008 (with Wasim Jaffer and Rahul Dravid respectively). This was the first time in Test history that the first two wickets in an innings have resulted in double-century stands. He equalled this in the innings against Sri Lanka in Mumbai, combining with Murali Vijay and Dravid for the first and second wickets.
- He is the first person in the history of test cricket to hit two triple centuries and take five wickets in a Test innings.
- He had launched the
first five of India’s innings in 2011 World Cup by hitting the first ball for four. The suffering bowlers were Shafiul Islam, Jimmy Anderson, Boyd Rankin, Mudassar Bukhari and Dale Steyn.