Former India opener Virender Sehwag claimed that if wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant completes 100 appearances in Test cricket, his name will be written forever in the history books. Pant came into prominence due to his exploits in T20 cricket. But of late, he has been a force to reckon with in Test cricket, amassing 1920 runs in 30 matches at an average of 40.85, including four centuries and nine half-centuries. In India's last Test assignment, a two-match home series against Sri Lanka in March, Pant, 24, made 185 runs at a strike rate of 120.12, including a 28-ball fifty, the fastest by an Indian batter, on the second day of pink-ball Test at Bengaluru. "If he goes on to play 100-plus Tests, his name would be etched in the history books forever. Only 11 Indian cricketers have achieved this feat, and everyone can recall those 11 names," said Sehwag in an upcoming episode of Home of Heroes show on Sports18, to be aired at 7pm on Friday.
Sehwag himself had been one of the most destructive players to feature in Test cricket, compiling 8586 runs, averaging 49.34 at an astonishing strike rate of 82.23 apart from 8273 in ODIs at 35.05 with a strike rate of 104.33. It wasn't surprising that Sehwag still feels that Test cricket will remain the ultimate format of the game in the future despite the T20 format turning out to be more popular and lucrative. "In my humble opinion, Test cricket is the ultimate cricket. Why does Virat Kohli emphasise so much on playing Tests? He knows that if he plays 100-150 or even 200 Tests, he will be immortalised in the record books." Sehwag is also remembered for his penchant for hitting boundaries on the first ball, which he did so five times during the victorious 2011 World Cup campaign. Asked about it, Sehwag remarked, "Many, including (Sachin) Tendulkar, told me that I planned to hit the first ball to the fence. But I never did. I would be prepared to hit the first ball thinking it would more often be a loosener or a warm-up delivery."