India v/s South Africa in Chennai test
The name Virender Sehwag is enough to send goosebumps amongst cricket fans around the world . His unbelievable batting, audacious strokeplay, stunning strike rate and amazing hand eye coordination helped him to showcase some of the finest test knocks played by Indian batsmen across eras and probably none better than his astonishing 319 vs South Africa at Chennai ( His 2nd triple hundred after his 309 v Pakistan at Multan) which possessed the best fast bowling attack at that point of Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis.
In that test South Africa batted first and scored a mammoth 540 after batting for 5 sessions. After fielding for 5 hours in Chennai heat, Sehwag hammered 52 notout in final session of play and looked in ominous touch playing glorious shots on both sides of the wicket as India ended the day at 82/0 with Sehwag and Wasim Jaffer staying notout.
On 3rd day (28th March ) Sehwag was imperious. Dazzling shots flowed from his bat . Anything full was driven through cover, midoff finding gaps with ease, anything short was fiercely cut through point or over the slips. Balls on the pads were promptly flicked through square leg or mid wicket. Short balls on leg side was occasionally pulled and fuller balls on stumps were hit straight down the ground. The South African bowling attack was stunned at the fierce onslaught. The 100 came off Jacques Kallis after Sehwag tried to complete it by hitting a six while on 95 but the ball fell slightly short of ropes. Thus on 99 he hit a 4 to complete his century.
His double hundred came off a three off Ntini and his triple hundred in the final hour of the day off a flicked single off Ntini again as the crowd rose to their feet to greet an awesome knock. It was the fastest 300 in Test history which came off 278 balls. Sehwag batted whole of 3rd day scoring 257 runs in the scorching Chennai heat after fielding for 2 previous days in scorching sun. He had two great partnerships, 1st with Wasim Jaffer (73) and then a mighty one with the “wall” Rahul Dravid (111). His every milestone was greeted with huge applause from the whole stadium. The South Africans were generous in their appreciation on the field as Sehwag completed each landmark.
Sehwag finally departed for a chanceless 319 made off 304 balls as the crowd rose to their feet to acknowledge a modern masterpiece. He hit 42 fours and five 5 sixes in an awesome exhibition of imperious strokeplay. Later AB De Villers acknowledged that Sehwag triple hundred at India v/s South Africa in Chennai test was the best test innings he witnessed live.
To this day the 319 remains as India’s highest individual test score and Sehwag equaled the feats of Bradman and Lara by completing his second triple in test cricket.