Tendulkar praises Sehwag
New Delhi - Sachin Tendulkar has led the outpouring of praise after flamboyant batsman Virender Sehwag lived up to the high expectations of his fans by hitting one-day cricket's highest score.
Sehwag hammered 219 against a hapless West Indies in Indore on Thursday to shatter Tendulkar's mark of 200 not out set against South Africa at Gwalior last year.
"I saw his batting toward the end," Tendulkar was quoted as saying by The Indian Express on Friday. "I am very happy for him and also the fact that someone who has broken my record is my teammate and an Indian."
Tendulkar sat out the ongoing five-game series along with regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, which provided Sehwag the opportunity to register his first century as India captain.
The 33-year-old Delhi batsman powered India to its best ever ODI score of 418-5 and also the joint-fourth highest ever, which enabled the team to complete a 153-run victory in the fourth one-dayer to seal the five-game series 3-1.
Sehwag, who accumulated an astonishing 142 runs from boundaries as he smashed 25 fours and seven sixes, conceded it was a special feeling to have broken Tendulkar's record.
"It's great to get past Sachin's record because he has been my role model," Sehwag said. "Scoring a double-hundred is never easy and over the last so many years, only two people have done it."
The 33-year-old crossed the 200-run mark with a four through point off pace bowler Andre Russell in only the 44th over of the innings and celebrated by pumping his fist and hugging his batting partner Rohit Sharma as 30,000 spectators at the Holkar Stadium celebrated wildly.
Sehwag's big-hitting has seen him score two test triple-centuries as well coming close for a third, but he considers the Indore knock to be his best.
"I would rate this as one of my very best, even better than my triple centuries in tests because in tests, you have plenty of time to score runs," said Sehwag, who scored 309 against Pakistan at Multan in 2004, 319 against South Africa at Chennai in 2008 and 293 against Sri Lanka at Mumbai in 2009.
"This is a great achievement and I congratulate Sehwag for the amazing feat," former India captain Sourav Ganguly was quoted as saying in The Times of India. "He is a gambler, a player who loves to take risks."
Sehwag, who played a number of his trademark aerial shots during the 149-ball innings, saw West Indies captain Darren Sammy drop an easy catch off pace bowler Ravi Rampaul on 170 and conceded luck was on his side.
"When Sammy dropped me, I knew that God was with me," said Sehwag, who was out in the 47th over.
Sehwag's compatriot Yuvraj Singh, also a big hitter who smashed a world record six sixes in an over off England pace bowler Stuart Broad during the 2007 Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa, was quick to praise Sehwag on his Twitter page.
"I say it again! I never saw Sir Viv (Richards) bat but I've seen Sehwag bat! What a player, 219 in a one day game is next to impossible!"
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja also compared Sehwag to former West Indian great Richards on his Twitter page.
"When Viv Richards retired, I thought it was end of entertainment. But then came Sehwag, the King of entertainment! Long live the King!"
Sehwag was also praised by players from outside the subcontinent.
"If you are a cricket fan, please switch your TV's on right now and watch a genius bat... Sehwag destroying the WI... world record coming..." tweeted England batsman Kevin Pietersen.
Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock tweeted: "Must admit if I had to pick one person to get more than 200 in an ODI innings, it would have been Viru! Congrats!"