No need for anyone to retire - Sehwag
None of the senior players is retiring as of now, the India team has said. There have been reports during the series that VVS Laxman (during Perth) and Rahul Dravid (during Adelaide) might have played their last Test match. After India's 0-4 whitewash, though, the team spokesperson read out a statement saying the reports were rumour and incorrect.
"The team takes note of the stories in the media suggesting the imminent retirement of a member of the Indian team," the spokesperson said. "We would like to clarify the situation by stating categorically that these are not correct and are baseless." The statement didn't name any of the players. "No players from the Indian team will be retiring. It is a rumour. Baseless. Incorrect."
Virender Sehwag, the stand-in captain, said, "I clarify that there is no need for retirement from anybody in this team. And they will take their call when they need it and when they think that their time is up."
The speculation, though, remains rife, especially because India don't play an away Test for the next two years, and it doesn't make sense to carry any player further unless he will be fit and ready for those overseas tours. When asked if he felt the seniors should be phased out, Sehwag said it wasn't his decision. "That's the team management and selectors who will decide," he said. "It is not me or anyone else who will decide. If they think we need something to change, they will do that. If they think we should carry on with the same, and just wait for other players to perform, and if you perform, they will take the call."
Sehwag also supported coach Duncan Fletcher, under whom India have lost eight away Tests in a row. Fletcher's record as a coach in Australia now reads one Test win and 13 losses. "He is a good coach," Sehwag said. "He is talking to a lot of the batsmen and giving his input and making a lot of strategy. When you can't execute your strategy, nothing happens.
"Why should I blame him [Fletcher]? It's the players who let the team down, not the support staff. They are very good. They are giving everything the players ask for. They were throwing to a lot of the batsmen. Thanks to the support staff. They are working hard to make sure the players perform. Make sure they give a good atmosphere for the players to perform."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo