By Jithu Jose Parackal
Those who have followed the game of cricket in the last one and a half decades would agree that Virender Sehwag is one of the most attacking, dominating and terrorizing batsmen this world has ever seen. The swashbuckling player from Delhi has been an integral part of Team India’s success in the last one a half decads, in all the three formats. But, off late, the dashing opener has been struggling with his form and fitness.
After losing his spot in the Indian team, he along with Gautam Gambhir, have been trying to make a comeback by scoring runs in the domestic cricket, but Virender Sehwag is struggling, there as well. At the start of the season, Sehwag made a call that he will bat at number 4, but even this change in the batting order hasn’t helped his cause. In the ongoing season of the Ranji Trophy, Sehwag average is less than 20, and there is chance of improving this average because his team is now out of the competition. Virat Kohli is India’s new number 4, and one would expect him to carry on for a long period of time, and the selectors have already made their preferences clear– that they want to make selections on the merit basis, and they are not afraid to experiment with young players. Considering all this, chances of Virender Sehwag making a comeback are looking very bleak.
The opening of Vijay and Dhawan hasn’t that well, but Vijay’s good performances and Dhawan’s good run in the shorter format, will help them retain their places for sometime. Ideally, ODI/T20 perfromances shouldn’t the parameter of selection for Tests, but this has been a trend in India since a long time. So, the comeback-back path is looking very dark for Virender Sehwag at the moment.
Sehwag is a player attributed with a freakish style of batting, blitzkrieg and a never say die attitude. Sehwag has always been a “hand-eye” co-ordination player, as he’s getting older, his eyesight is going down too. His reflexes aren’t the same, and his struggling play even his favourite shot.
Although many experts feel that his time as an Indian player is well and over, his coach A.N Sharma feels otherwise. He thinks that Sehwag can still contribute to the Indian cricket team. Talking of an inspiration, he has his former captain and mentor Saurav Ganguly to look at. Ganguly also went through a tough phase, but because of his hunger and hard work, he made a comeback and proved all his critics wrong.
Considering the current scenario and Sehwag’s miserable form, I would like to believe that Sehwag’s career is over. The increased fat around his stomach and his struggle with the bat, has left his fans with very little hope. But, because there is so much cricket going around these, and the new season of the IPL lined-up, Sehwag would try his best to impress the selectors. It’s going to mighty task for the Jaatman, but who knows, the Nawab of Najafgarh has done many crazy things in the past.