India in Australia 2011-12 January 23, 2012

Sehwag not ruling out move down the order


Virender Sehwag, the India opener, has not ruled out shifting down to the middle order once some of the senior batsmen retire. Sehwag began his career as a middle-order batsman, scored his first Test century there, but had to naturalise to the opener's position because the middle order was packed. He has come to be known as the man who revolutionised how Test innings are opened. However, even at the highest points of his career, Sehwag has maintained he would love to go back to the middle order, where he doesn't always have to negotiate the moving new ball.

Sehwag said such a move would not happen in the Adelaide Test, in which he is captaining India. "No, not in this team because, you know, we have a very good middle order so when they retire then I'll think about it," Sehwag said.

When the fact that there will be vacancies over the next year or so was pointed out to him, Sehwag said: "It depends on the combination, and who's the captain, and who's going to retire."

There has been a lot of criticism of MS Dhoni's captaincy - defensive or pragmatic, depending on how you see it - over the past two away series, and against that backdrop Sehwag was asked if he saw himself as a full-time Test captain. Sehwag played the rare leave outside off. "Right now, no," he said. "Right now I'm just concentrating on this Test match. It's not in my hands; it's just the selectors' job and BCCI's job."

Sehwag's press conference ahead of the Adelaide Test was as much about the past as about the future. He was asked if the century he scored the last time he played in Adelaide gave him confidence. "Tomorrow is a different day, different game, different tour," he said. "Last time when we came here, I didn't play the first two games, and I was out of the team for some time, and I was fighting for my place. But now it's a different story, a different thing, so I think it's good to play in Adelaide because when you score a hundred on the previous tour you look forward to going and playing on the same ground and trying to make another hundred."

Sehwag has had a poor run on the Australia tour, with just 128 runs from six innings. He gave credit to the Australia bowlers, saying it was probably the best Australia attack he had faced. "I think they are bowling good areas. They are not giving easy balls to hit boundaries, and they are playing with your patience, so I think this is the best bowling attack I've ever seen. Against Australia, generally when I played in the past, I'd get a couple of balls in the early overs to hit to the boundary; but from this attack I hardly get a ball to hit, so I think it's one of the best bowling attacks."

In a test of patience, he said, you need patience to win. "I think I have to show some patience against the bowling attack because if I show some patience maybe I'll get some balls to hit for boundaries, but it's a challenge. It's a great bowling attack, which everyone loves to play against so I'm looking forward to playing in this Test match and doing well because whenever you do well against Australia people will appreciate and people will praise your performances."

There has been concern during this tour that India's minds are elsewhere, sparked by on-field comments from the India players, telling the Australia players they will see them when they come to India. Sehwag, though, said that was not the case. "We are focusing on this Test, and looking forward to it. Adelaide is one of the favourite grounds for everyone because the pitch is good to bat on. We have great memories of when we won the game here in 2003-2004. So I think the dressing-room atmosphere is positive, and we are looking forward to this Test match."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Allan on January 26, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    @Alexander Fleming - Totally agree. When is the next Ashes? Can't wait to see Eng having their * handed to them by this team (batting still needs a bit of work tho). In all the desperation of the now likely 4-0 thumping, we're missing the evolution of a truly amazing Aus pace attack. Can you see me turning green with envy? BTW - no one has mentioned the support staff, but would love to be a fly on the wall in all the strategy and analysis meetings: "..see here's dravid's only flaw...he leans over sometimes...get it there and it may sneak thru or ricochet of pad on to the point bowling loose balls...and of course you have to execute on a dime... and if that doesn't work go to Plan B..." And they did this for 1 to 11. Man we really we need thinkers of the game! Kudos to the support staff.

  • Dummy4 on January 26, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    Are u being serious? if swhwag doesn't open then he should be dropped!!! Sehwag is not a reliable or consistent enough to play in the middle order. Imagine India loose couple of early wickets and then sehwag walks in? he will play his natural attacking game and will loose his wicket by being too aggressive. As an opener sehwag has the license because even if he gets out India has players like the wall, sachin, dravid, laxman, (previously ganguly) etc to consolidate.

  • Munawar on January 26, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    So we saw more of the same. Enough man.Time to rest Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin and Laxman. Clearly, Sehwag is the most irresponsible player in team. This is proved time and again. Good time to bring Jaffer, Badrinath, Pujara and Kaif for the Test series at home. Wasim Jaffer, Badri and Pujara would be a great blend. Kaif would be a great addition as well. Kaif has always been a captaincy material. Make him the Captain. Besides youngsters, you need some experience too. Both Kaif and Jaffer are in early 30s.Sounds much better than greats in 38s / 39s. Time to blood in Rohit Sharma too.Bring back Harbhajan. Ashwin remains an avg. Ranji level offie who has carrom ball. Ashwin stands sorted out by international batsmen including lesser mortals like Bravo,Chanderpaul, Russel, Rampaul, etc. Pragyan Ojha should also be brought back in. He is a much better bowler with lot more variation and skills than this Srikanth favorite - Ashwin.Time to confirm Saha as wk and bring I.Khaleel as 2nd wk

  • n.jaya on January 26, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    to remain in the team dhoni and you planned like this bcz ur captain now no one can blame now.u have to be dropped mr sewag u can only score runs if any one drop ur catch..ur 67 in the first test is filled with lot of dropped catches.ur age of 33 is not young u too old ..if ur in other teams.

  • Ram on January 26, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    Sewag doesnt need to think to move down he needs to get out ...shame on you for your mates carrying you as being the best of the worst. Even a bowler makes a century...what a joke Sewag is....

  • Dummy4 on January 25, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    ohhhhhhh yes thats very good option viru u goes right way i am with u yar when we goes out side ur record is very poor u thought about this , i think because of oppositions bowlers are target u with new ball and ur one small mistake heald than u loss your wicket if u bated at middle order u hitted to old humbled bowlers its effective for us. okkk u just try and forgot all these and batted well best luck.

  • Dummy4 on January 25, 2012, 10:38 GMT


  • Abhinav on January 25, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    He should be dropped....give due importance to performers in Domestic tournament ....Dheeraj Jadhav, Robin Bisht......

  • krishna on January 24, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    He's got to go back to domestic cricket, prove that he can bat down the order and then get back in... its not given that he can choose whatever position he can bat in. Persistence with the seniors on the pretext of batting heavyweights is damaging the opportunities for youngsters to play overseas. To top it, the team is been abysmal on the field, unable to sustain the pressure, if at all created by one or two good overs here and there by the bowlers. I dont want to see the backs of the greats in our team but if thats the only way things are going to be right, at thats what it seems now, then the selectors shouldn't be afraid to take the call - if the fear of failure without the seniors is actually troubling them.

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    We are talking nonsense about a guy who has India's top three scores in test matches (also in ODI), has an average of more than 50 (VVS has an average of 46 something to compare). I know he is not technically brilliant. But what he lacks in technicality, he more than makes it up with his sheer timing,hand-eye coordination and playing with opponent's psyche. In my humble opinion he is one of the guys who brings the ODI/T20 loving crowd to watch a test match. I dont give a damn about his footwork as long as he is middling the ball and makes runs. This is just a bad phase in this great cricketer's life. One fine day he will score a big score and people will start singing praises for him. He is considered one of the most feared batsman of all time... and there is a good solid reason behind it.

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