Can under-fire Sehwag ever make a comeback to the Indian team?
Suyash Srivastava/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Ahead of the ongoing Test series, it wasn’t just Australia who were struggling with the form of their openers. The hosts who dropped veteran Gautam Gambhir ahead of the series, weren’t too sure whether Murali Vijay or Shikhar Dhawan could make an impact against the Australian pace attack.
While Murali Vijay cemented his spot for a while with a formidable knock in the second Test, Sehwag couldn’t find form and was dropped for the remaining part of the series. While the selectors have said that they wanted the swashbuckling right-hander to get used to playing with glasses on, we all know just like Gambhir’s case, it was a matter of time that he was dropped.
Like Gautam Gambhir, even Virender Sehwag knew that his place in the side was under serious threat. Last few years have been a nightmare for the Sehwag. In the last eight Tests (15 innings), the 34-year-old managed to score just 338 runs at an average of 22.53. While his last ton in away series came five years ago, even against the Aussies in the series Down Under, Viru’s willow produced just 198 runs in eight innings.
Even in the ongoing Test series, he has 27 runs in three innings. He probably wouldn’t have been even considered for the series had he not slammed a ton (117) against England in the Ahmedabad Test.
Sehwag has entertained the cricket fraternity with several blistering knocks in the last decade. His hand-eye coordination was rated as one of the best and for someone who has two triple tons to his name, Test cricket too was all about enjoying the game and hitting the balls within his reach.
Former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid suggested that selectors should try batting Sehwag lower down the order. But then, Sehwag has scored most of his runs as an opener and to experiment at a time when Indian cricket too is undergoing a transition phase, doesn’t make sense.
At times, the critics have questioned his fitness and many believe at 34, he hasn’t got much cricket left in him. Unless and until Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan fail miserably in the next two Tests, this could be the end of the road for Virender Sehwag.