Challenging task for Sehwag

The drawback for Sehwag will be that he cannot afford to lose time given that he is in the mid 30s coupled with the fact that he relies a lot more than others on the eye-hand co-ordination. The time has come for even Sehwag to ponder.

The National selection committee has taken the step that was anticipated — that of dropping Sehwag from the squad. The dashing opener followed his partner Gambhir in exiting from the side due to less than expected performances. Sehwag had his chances in the first two Tests but somehow things did not work out and perhaps he will now have the time to sort out his best option in his bid to rectify his vision. By that I mean he can try out the spectacles he sported during the Tests against Australia a bit longer before looking at the other option of contact lenses like his first captain Sourav Ganguly did. Not only would Sehwag look to emulate his favourite in resorting to contact lenses (should he settle for them) but he will always try to make a comeback like the one Ganguly did against South Africa in 2006-7 season.

Sehwag has done it before but one must not forget the fact that he was relatively younger then and also that he did not have to think about the methods he employed. This time around his biggest challenge will be not to allow his mind to get cluttered in the approach that he needs to adopt. His USP has been that he sets matches up with his aggression and hence the team management always provided him with wider latitude. That’s exactly the reason even the selectors waited more patiently before arriving at the decision to drop him. Now that the opportunities are likely to be limited to stake his claim, Sehwag will be required to be composed and bide his time. The selectors have shown consistency and courage in axing both Gambhir and Sehwag. Moreover, if at all there was a time to blood youngsters it was now. Not only will the ouster stoke the fire in the bellies of both the openers, but it will also provide the chances for the youngsters to prove their mettle. Besides, testing out the youngsters in international matches in order to assess their ability and temperament is the right step as well.

A combination of poor form and a plethora of the shorter format of the game, prior to the start of this season made it difficult for the Indian batsmen to get going in Test cricket. This affected one and all including the champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar. However, Tendulkar went back to the domestic circuit and ground his way to some semblance of form but Sehwag did not get too many opportunities to try his wares in the longer format of the game. This definitely had a big impact on his batting as it did in Gambhir’s case. With a lot of cricket once again slated in the shorter format in the next few months, the challenge for Gambhir and Sehwag to fine tune their batting to meet the demands of Test cricket will be intensified.

They will fancy their chances of getting back into the team for the South African tour at the end of the year provided the selectors pick them on the basis of their performances in the IPL and maybe the Champions Trophy.

It will be a testing time for the acclaimed performers but despite their experience, the journey will be a tough one, as waiting in the wings is not something both of them are familiar with. Apart from Tendulkar almost just about everyone in Indian cricket has been through this and hopefully, the Delhi duo will work their way back into the team in due course. But the drawback for Sehwag will be that he cannot afford to lose time given that he is in the mid 30s coupled with the fact that he relies a lot more than others on the eye-hand co-ordination. The time has come for even Sehwag to ponder.