Indore: Stand-in captain Virender Sehwag, who on Thursday created history by scoring the highest ODI score of 219, said he never expected to score a double hundred and the thought crossed his mind only during the batting Powerplays.
"I never expected to score a double hundred. While opening the innings, I told Gautam Gambhir that if we can show some patience on this track, we will be in for a big one as the wicket is a good one. The outfield is fantastic and the distance of the boundary is only 50 yards," Sehwag said after his epic knock of 219 off just 149 balls against the West Indies.
The dashing opener said that once the batting powerplay started, the thought of reaching double hundred crossed his mind.
"It was only after the batting powerplay started, I felt that I could reach double hundred. Also when Sammy dropped me (at 170), I knew that God was with me," Sehwag stated.
He thanked his family and thousands of fans who always expected him to overhaul Sachin Tendulkar's record of breacing the 200-mark in ODIs.
"I want to thank my family and fans. I know people expected me to score a double century. Today when I wanted to hit a six, I just did that."
Sehwag said that he was determined to make amends for the string of poor scores in the first three ODIs.
"I have said this earlier also that the top-order needs to contribute. It was a wicket where one could score big runs if he stayed around for 30 overs."
The historic knock certainly seemed to have taken a toll on the 33-year-old as he smiled and said: "Obviously, I am very tired. I am an old man now and my back gets stiff. So I need to take an ice bath."
Srikkanth felt it was important for Sehwag to hit peak form before the Australia series.
"He is an amazing player and it's very important that Sehwag touches the peak form by the time India leave for Australia.
"The greatest thing about Sehwag is that he is an honest person. He was blaming the openers for not getting enough runs on the board during this ongoing series. The top-order included himself also and he did not mince word before criticising himself. So he is a very straight-forward kind of a person," added the chief selector.
Asked who he thought would have crossed the 200-mark barrier in ODIs, Srikkanth promptly replied, "West Indian great Vivian Richards, Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag. These are the guys capable of reaching the milestone."
Srikkanth said that Sehwag has matured as a player and his coming back to form is a good sign for Indian cricket.
Former Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir said he has always admired Sehwag's attacking mindset.
"I have always remained a great fan of Sachin Tendulkar and when he scored the double hundred against South Africa, one name that crossed my mind was Sehwag. In my view, other player who could have scored double ton was Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya because he also plays an attacking brand of cricket.
"Both Sehwag and Jayasuriya have the talent and ability to score a double hundred and can only touch the mark. I would like to extend my congratulations to all Indians for Sehwag scoring a double hundred," said Qadir.