An inconsistent and under-performing Virender Sehwag finally got the boot for the remaining two Tests against Australia, and rightly so, felt his first coach AN Sharma. But Sehwag is not yet ‘finished’, warned the coach.
The Nawab of Najafgarh, who was recently dropped for the England ODI series, has been under immense pressure to retain his Test spot. Despite a prolonged slump in form, the national selectors kept faith in Sehwag hoping he would shine against a tame Aussie attack. But the swashbuckling opener failed to improve his showing, scoring two and 19 in the first Test and six in the last match at Hyderabad.
Sandeep Patil & Co eventually ran out of patience and axed him for the next two Tests in Mohali and Delhi yesterday. The selectors did not name any replacement for Sehwag though and that makes Shikhar Dhawan a front runner to debut in the third Test that begins on March 14.
Sharma saw logic in his ward’s axing. “It is understood why Sehwag has been dropped. He has been woefully out of form… he wasn’t getting any runs. There was no option, but to drop him. But it’s strange that the selectors did not name a replacement for him,” Sharma told MiD DAY from New Delhi.
India is not scheduled to play any Test matches before the South Africa tour later this year. This means that Sehwag will need to do something extraordinary at the domestic level in the meantime to win back his place for the series against the Proteas. Sharma is confident he will. “Let me tell everyone that Sehwag is not finished yet. He is a fighter. He will work harder. We will find out why the runs have dried up. I am sure he will fight back and earn his place again. He won’t take things lying down. A batsman like Sehwag is very rare. India need a match-winner like him,” Sharma said.