Virender Sehwag may have played 100-plus Tests for his country, but sadly he will be remembered for his inconsistent ways just as he is hailed for his attacking strokeplay.
Yesterday, he justifiably got the axe for the next two Tests against Australia in Mohali and Delhi. Both these venues are close to his heart.
Mohali, because of his ODI debut — against Pakistan and Delhi, since it is his home town.
In recent months, the Indian team has been hoping for Sehwag to get a big score without him threatening the opposition. Since November, he hasn’t been able to produce a Test 50 and that clearly indicates he’s not in the best of form.
Unfortunately, Sehwag doesn’t have many opportunities to make a return so he will have to iron out most of his problems in the nets. He is not one to eschew his attacking ways, but he’ll do well to tighten his defence which will be paramount in seaming conditions.
Whether the selectors will include him in the squad for South Africa later this year is a million-dollar question. It also depends how well the new opening pair of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan fare in the two Tests against Australia.
There has been some talk of Sehwag wanting to bat in the middle order. With due respects to his seniority, that move would be unfair to players waiting in the wings like Mumbai’s Ajinkya Rahane, who this newspaper believes is being looked at by the selectors as a proper middle order batsman and not a makeshift opener to solve short-term problems. There is also constant claims from Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh to a lesser extent.
Sehwag’s problems are manifold. He will feel the loss of the India cap like never before but he will have to grin and bear it for the moment at least.