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An innings of supreme significance

It is only fitting that the highest individual score in one-day international cricket is attached to the most destructive batsman in world cricket today -- Virender Sehwag. Though he first made an impact on Indian cricket through a hurricane hundred in a one-day international against New Zealand in 2001, Sehwag, over the last few years, gave some pundits the impression that he is a more dangerous force in the Test match variety of the game. 

Yesterday in Indore, he probably thought that it's high time to slam that theory and make maximum use of the opportunity to bat through the innings. Though he didn't exactly do that (he got out in the 47th over for 219), he dazzled the Indore crowd as well as all of us in front of our television sets and demolished any chance West Indies had of keeping the series alive before the fifth and final ODI in Chennai on December 11.

Sehwag has endured some dark periods through injury of late, and a duck in both innings at Brimingham in England a few months ago would not have been easy to put behind. A disappointing Test series against the West Indies may have added to his cup of woes. But, as most aggressive batsmen would agree, there is no better way to get out of a slump -- in Sehwag's case -- a mini slump, than to hit your way out of trouble.

Sehwag's innings was not without blemish. The West Indies captain Darren Sammy will forever rue the dropped catch, but the Delhi man's mastery over the West Indian bowlers was there for everyone to see. Had Indore's batting greats like C K Nayudu and Mushtaq Ali been watching from Elysian Fields, they would have applauded Sehwag for the longest time. A series win for India without the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh is commendable in no small measure.

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