Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni admits Sehwag's run of low scores has crippled Team India
It may sound harsh to hold Virender Sehwag responsible for India's shambolic performance in Australia. But, the truth is that Sehwag hasn't threatened Michael Clarke's pacers. Every time India did well overseas in the last decade - England in 2002, Australia in 2003-04, West Indies in 2006, England in 2007, New Zealand in 2008-09, the openers did well before the Dravids and Tendulkars consolidated. Sehwag hasn't done anything to justify his VIP reputation.
Gone! Sehwag leaves the field after being dismissed by Australia's Ben
Hilfenhaus in the Sydney Test. Pic/AFP
Prior to the series, Ian Chappell felt that India's hopes depended on Sehwag. But, the India opener has been a walking duck that started with his swings and misses at Melbourne and Sydney, before switching to a careful approach at Perth. He flopped nonetheless. When he decided to play watchfully, he presented catching practice to Australia's slip cordon. When he flashed hard, he was caught at gully.
If you roll back highlights and look at the 14 boundaries he struck in three Tests, none would resemble the sweetness with which he struck the ball at Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2003-04. Most of those fours were streaky edges. Sehwag was also Dale Steyn's bunny in South Africa in 2010-11 when he managed only 144 runs in three Tests.
Sehwag, who gained respect with centuries at Bloemfontein (2001-02), Trent Bridge (2002) and Melbourne (2003-04) in the last decade, hasn't done anything worthy outside of the subcontinent since the 2007-08 tour of Australia, the highlight being his match-saving century at Adelaide. Since then, Sehwag hasn't scored a single century outside of the subcontinent. He has averaged a mediocre 21.09 in 11 Tests (3 in New Zealand, 3 in South Africa, 2 in England and 3 in Australia).
He was rushed back from an injury in England and tried to blast his way back to form. But, James Anderson ensured that he became only the 13th player in Test history to register a king pair. India captain MS Dhoni was reminded that his deputy hadn't done performed outside the subcontinent for the last four years.
"Yes, he's been playing and missing at the ball a lot. We have been struggling because we haven't been getting the required starts. But, we all know what he can do when he gets going. Sehwag himself is disappointed with his performance," the skipper told MiD DAY. "There's no question dropping him. He's a very senior player. We are confident that he will come good soon," he added.