Asia Cup 2011-12 March 1, 2012

Sehwag clarifies he asked for rest


Virender Sehwag has dispelled speculation over him being "rested" for the Asia Cup, saying he had explained his medical condition to the chairman of the selectors Kris Srikkanth ahead of the selection meeting to pick the squad for the tournament.

"I have back spasms. I need some rest. I have never kept my team management in the dark as far as fitness is concerned," Sehwag told Mid-Day, after his name did not feature in the 15-member squad announced on Tuesday.

Srikkanth had said Sehwag was rested based on the fitness report and recommendation of the Indian team's physiotherapist. The word 'rested' was interpreted by many as a euphemism for being dropped, given Sehwag had failed during the Test series in Australia and managed only 65 runs in five matches during the CB Series.

But Srikkanth strongly denied the rumours and even lost this cool during the media briefing . Sehwag, too, made it clear that his injury was genuine. "My injury is open for everyone to see. I have never hidden my injury before, or fitness problems. Even my shoulder operation was planned after consulting the then coach Gary Kirsten and skipper MS Dhoni," Sehwag said.

A BCCI official said it was incorrect to blame on selectors for copping out over the 'resting' of Sehwag. He pointed out that Srikkanth's panel had, in the past, taken bold decisions like dropping Yuvraj Singh during the home Test series against Australia, months before the World Cup, and leaving Harbhajan Singh out after his loss of form during the tour of England last year.

"The media and critics said the selectors did not have the guts to say he [Sehwag] is dropped. I don't think that is true," the official explained. "If they wanted to unconditionally drop him, the selectors would have done that. They had dropped Yuvraj Singh four months before the World Cup. Then they dropped Harbhajan Singh after the England tour last year. They could have easily done so with Sehwag, too, now in case they wanted to."

The decision to rest Sehwag, the board official pointed out, was taken keeping in mind the long-term repercussions of playing with an injury. "Sehwag was suffering from spasms, had shoulder pains and was also was having migraine. There was no option but to give him a break."

When asked if Sehwag's concerns about his fitness would be undermined should he play the CB series finals in the event of India's qualification, the official didn't think so. "If at all he goes ahead and plays the final and smacks a hundred it does not mean his body and mind does not need a break," the official said. According to him, a majority of elite cricketers are "literally stitched up together" to be fit to play, and the physio has worked hard to keep Sehwag fit on the tour of Australia.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    where r guys like Ambati Raydu, Robin Uthappa, Chetehwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.. they deserve chances, especially someone like Raydu, who once was being called as next Sachin..

  • Brady on March 4, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Pfft medical condition? What a crock. These players need to understand that playing for your country is not a right it's a privilege. The whole Indian team think they are bigger than the game itself and it's sad. Sehwag needs to go and bat in the nets and work out his technique because he is terrible. Flat track bullies applies more to this bloke than anyone

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    The selectors dont have the nerve to kiick you out.....u dont have any respect to still hang arnd(along with ur hero)...and we dont have any shame to support u....

  • Venkat on March 4, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    Biggest problem is nobody is accepting the fact that players in the Indian team have been performing terribly over the past 3 away series. This denial is what is irritating the fans, not so much their non-performance itself. I haven't heard even a single time any seniors or the captain or management top ranks coming out cleanly in public about this sorry state. This is indeed the saddest part and will be the corroding factor for Indian cricket's future.

  • Ajay on March 3, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Why does Sehwag feel the need to clarify? Does he think he is even half as treasured a player as he was a few years back? Ask your fans, VS. They all know well in advance of a game that you are not going to perform. After losing all respect of fans and cricket-followers worldwide, it is imperative that you yourself call it quits. Another thing that baffles me is that nobody has said anything much about Fletcher. The coach of Maple Leafs here in Toronto was fired last night after his Toronto team lost a few matches in succession, without any regard to reputation and big names. So why can't the Indian selectors do what they are supposed to do, and start looking professional and worthy of their responsibility. After watching a video of Srikkanth the other day, it became sufficiently clear that despite being an engineer, he is street smart at best and irresponsible, unprofessional and impulsive at worst. For any turnaround in India's fortunes, Srikkanth and Fletcher must go first.

  • Aamir on March 3, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    May Sehwag rest in peace.............(-:) )and come back in his flamboyant colours as we have come to know him over the years. India have a lot of home series coming up and here our man will definitely be a threat (hopefully to the visitors).

  • Dummy4 on March 3, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    Its true what Ashley said. A good rest before IPL 2012. tell me anyone, when we see more players in Indian cricket who plays for country???????????? for me after Kapil, chetan sharma, G.Vishwanath, Roger binny, Yashpal Sharma, Kirmani, we found only few like Yuvraj, ganguly, harbajan, dravid, laxman, srinath, kumble.... what about aothers???

  • happy on March 3, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    talking of guts how about all these officials themselves coming on record than being anonymous when they are giving their versions to the media. it is palpably unfair for these officials to be unnamed while they talk about players by name isnt it? and by the way what was sehwag or zaheer 'rested' from? india doesnt play till september so what are they resting for?

  • Coolest on March 3, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    Cheteshwar Pujara, Robin Uthappa and Manoj Tiwari are all better players then Rohit Sharma, who has already played 77 ODIs so far and have done absolutely NOTHING!! He has only 2 centuries and one of them came against Zimbabwe. He is one of the most hyped player around...

  • Coolest on March 3, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    Why is Cheteshwar Pujara always ignored when it comes to ODI cricket? He has a better average in domestic 50-over cricket then test cricket. @S.Jagernath, I agree that he would thrive in ODI cricket if given a chance...

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