Virender Sehwag's childhood coach AN Sharma believes the discarded batsman can make an India comeback if he does the hard yards
Until yesterday, Virender Sehwag fancied his chances of playing the 2015 World Cup. It was definitely amusing considering the fact that Sehwag last played an international match in March 2013.
Virender Sehwag. Pic/AFP
With Sehwag not doing anything noteworthy on the domestic front, (averaging just 20.23 in 13 one-day matches) the selectors decided to keep him out of the 30 World Cup probables which were picked yesterday at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters in Mumbai.
Ironically, the crushing news came on the same day when Sehwag came close to becoming the first batsman to score three triple centuries in Test cricket. Sehwag was out on 293 against SL at the Brabourne Stadium in 2009.
Sehwag's childhood coach AN Sharma was not shocked that his ward wasn't picked. "Did you expect him in the probables?" he asked.
"Everybody wants to play the World Cup, but if you don't perform in domestic matches, you cannot expect to be in the Indian team. I am not at all shocked. Sehwag was great player and will remain one of the greatest," Sharma told mid-day from New Delhi.
For Sehwag to make a comeback into the Indian team, Sharma said the opener has to do the hard yards like he did after being dropped in 2007 to return to his swashbuckling ways.
"I told Sehwag that he has to work the way he did in 2007. But I didn't get a reply. He also stays far away from my place now and probably does not have the time to come the ground. Anyway, that's his wish. But if he has to make his way back into the team, he has to perform and work as hard as he did in 2007," said Sharma.
Poor form led to the dropping of Sehwag, who captained India in the Adelaide Test of the 2011-12 series against Australia when regular skipper MS Dhoni was banned because of an over-rate issue.
In 2007, according to Sharma, the Delhi batting great "practiced for nearly six to seven hours in a day". He worked on his "batting technique, fitness and temperament" to force his way back into the team. Sharma wondered whether Sehwag has enough hunger left to make an India comeback.
"I doubt," was his curt reply when asked whether Sehwag is willing to work like he did in 2007. However, the coach refrained from commenting on the batsman's future.
"That (retirement) is his call. He is the best person to decide. If he continues to work hard, I think he has the potential to play till 2019," Sharma concluded.
India's World Cup probables...
MS Dhoni, S Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, A Rahane, R Uthappa, V Kohli, S Raina, A Rayudu, K Jadhav, M Tiwary, M Pandey, W Saha, S Samson, R Ashwin, P Rasool, K Sharma, A Mishra, R Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, B Kumar, M Shami, U Yadav, V Aaron, D Kulkarni, S Binny, Mohit Sharma, A Dinda, K Yadav and M Vijay