The 'Nawab of Najafgarh', 'Sultan of Multan' and arguably the most destructive opener of this century, Virender Sehwag celebrated his 40th birthday on Satuday. 'Viru', as he fondly called by his teammates and fans, had a extraordinary career with the national team, wherein he produced endless blistering moments.
A player who started his career in the middle-order, Sehwag was promoted to the opening slot in his early days, and since then, has never looked back. Whether his team was batting first or chasing, under pressure or cruising, Viru had his own style of batting - Attack.
There were doubts over his technique - a lack of footwork - but he made it up with an amazing hand to eye co-ordination. And the numbers speak for themselves. Over 17,000 runs in international cricket, which included triple centuries in Test cricket and a double century in ODIs.
On the occasion of his birthday, his well wishers showered praise on him in a style he would for others. Leading the wish-brigade was Harbhajan Singh, who went onto term him as 'modern generation's Viv Richards'.
In an international career which lasted 12 years, Sehwag hardly put a step wrong. His success in Test format was unbelievable, so much so that he is regarded as one of the best player to have played in the format.
In 104 Test matches, he scored 8586 runs at an average close to 50. Though, the point which stands out was that he had a strike rate of 83, something which not many manage in limited-overs format. Further, he was the first Indian to score a triple century, and is one of the four batsman to score two of those.
As for the ODIs, his average of 35.05 in 251 matches shouldn't cloud the fact that he was an integral part of the Indian team. More often than not, he would give his team a flying start, something which paved way for team's victory. Viru was also an integral part of India's World Cup 2011 winning squad.
His T20I career was just 19 matches old, though, during that short period, he was a key part of the team, helping India win the T20 World Cup 2007.