In his inimitable manner, Sehwag transformed the role of an opener in the game - from making a habit of slamming the first ball to the fence, to the ease with which he sent the ball to all corners of the ground.
A roaring tiger of Indian cricket, Viru put any and every opponent he faced under the mat for the length of his stay on the pitch. It didn't matter to Sehwag how many runs were on board - his genius lay in the ability to turn a game around in no time.
The first 10 overs of any game - Tests, ODI or T20 - are crucial. Sehwag changed the way Indian fans looked at the period - a run a ball became par in Tests; in the shorter formats, the run rates were at times barely believable.
The standout feature of his batsmanship, however, lay in the bravado. It didn't matter whether he was 5, 95, 195 or 295 - if the ball was there to be hit, it would be hit.
Sehwag gave his career to Indian cricket - and India reaped the benefits. The only two triple centuries made by an Indian in Tests are in his name. The ODI record was his too before Rohit Sharma broke it last year. It's only fitting that Viru ends with two world titles to his name - the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup.
Which is why one could ask the question - did he not deserve one last hurrah? Rather, did his fans not deserve one final glimpse of the magic?
In concluding, I'd just like to say - Thank You, Nawab of Najafgarh. It's been a pleasure watching you. The memories will stay with us. The YouTube videos will be turned to many a time.
First Published: October 28, 2015, 7:23 PM IST