“I am really glad to see Sehwag back on the field. His exclusion from the game against Australia was baffling. A big player like him shouldn’t be dropped in a critical stage of the tournament,” said Akram who recalled his first-hand experience concerning the Delhi dasher although Sehwag scored only 21 (3x4, 1x6) in the 2003 World Cup game. “He smashed us to all corners of the park,” recalled Akram, who stressed decisions like the one the Indian team management took could have a bad effect on the confidence level of a player.
“Instead of dropping him, they could have taken him aside and talked to him about what exactly they expect from him and boost his confidence,” said the Pakistan all-rounder-turned-commentator. “All these years, Sehwag has been allowed to play freely. He is that type of a player, so I don’t understand why he was dumped.”
Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar too slammed the move to drop Sehwag, who he reckoned had a “good understanding with Gautam Gambhir.” Having been India’s greatest opening batsman, Gavaskar should know.
Sehwag scored 29 off 24 balls yesterday. He came into the side alongwith L Balaji while India dropped spinners Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla. Harbhajan claimed four wickets against England whom India beat by 90 runs while his two unfruitful overs against Australia cost him 20 runs.
Gavaskar had also criticised the move to have Chawla in the side. He felt the Punjab leg-spinner didn’t display the right kind of body language.