Navjot Singh Sidhu and Virender Sehwag
Navjot Singh Sidhu and Virender Sehwag
File Photo

Former India opening batsman Virender Sehwag, one of the most destructive Indian opening batsmen, turned 42 on Tuesday. Sehwag, who was born on October 20, 1978, retired from international cricket on his 37th birthday in 2015.

Sehwag shares his birthday with another flamboyant Indian batsman, Navjot Singh Siddhu, who turned 57 today.

However, the two former cricketers share more than just a birthday. Both of them were known for their explosive batting style, both were opening batsmen and both of them are now known for their humour outside the field.

Sehwag retired from all forms of cricket five years ago on his birthday in 2015, whereas Sidhu played his last Test in 1999. Since retirement, both of them have been making news for anything but cricket.

Siddhu, who also dabbles in politics, is famous for his ‘Sidhuisms’ and his copyright catchphrase ‘Thoko talli’. Sehwag, who played his first match after Sidhu had already retired, has his own witty takes on contemporary issues.

Since his retirement, Sehwag has taken Twitter by storm, just like he did with his batting. Once an ace opening batsman, Sehwag has equally aced social media game with ‘Sehwagism’, turning into an entertainer.

Sehwag might not have a regular appearance on a comedy show like Sidhu did, but he continues to entertain his fans with his tweets, just like he did with his batting.

Going back a few decades and comparing Sidhu and Sehwag for their batting style, we can see that the two also shared their love for destroying bowling attacks. While Sehwag may look like a better of the two, comparing the batting records does not do justice as they played during different eras under very different bowlers and a very different Indian teams.

Sidhu was as flamboyant as Sehwag and enjoyed aggressive batting. He also opened the batting for India during most of his career. In his Test career of 51 matches, he accumulated 3,202 runs with the highest score of 201 at an average of 42.13. He scored 9 centuries and 15 half-centuries in his career.

He was equally successful as an ODI batsman. In 136 matches, he accrued 4,413 runs with the highest score of 134 not out at an average of 37.08 and at a strike rate of 69.72. He also hit 6 centuries and 33 half-centuries during his one and half decade career.

Sehwag, who debuted three years after Sidhu retired, notched up a total of 8,586 runs in his glorious international Test career of 104 Tests. Sehwag scored 23 centuries and 32 half-centuries and has a distinction of the only triple centurion in Tests for India, having scored a career-best knock of 319 against Pakistan at Multan.

In 251 ODIs, he accumulated 8273 runs at an average of 35.05 and scored 15 hundreds apart from hitting 38 fifties. In 19 Twenty20 Internationals, he managed 394 runs with two half-centuries.

He was a part of two World Cup winning teams under Mahendra Singh Dhonis leadership --- 2007 World T20 in South Africa and the ICC ODI World Cup in India.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal