India v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Brisbane February 21, 2012

Sehwag unaware of Dhoni calling seniors slow


Virender Sehwag has said that he was not aware that one of the reasons MS Dhoni wanted to rotate the three openers in the Commonwealth Bank Series was that Dhoni thought playing all three would cost 20 runs in the field. Sehwag captained India, in Dhoni's absence, against Sri Lanka, and he, Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar played together for the first time in the tournament. Sehwag said Dhoni had chats with all three individually, saying that youngsters should get enough exposure in these conditions keeping in mind the next World Cup will be played in Australia and New Zealand. Sehwag said he was fine with that reasoning but was unaware that Dhoni had said, after the February 19 match against Australia, that he couldn't fit all three openers in a given XI because of their slowness in the field.

"No we didn't know that," Sehwag said. "I didn't know what he said and what's going on in the media. But we decided, we had a meeting, he chatted with everyone, with Gautam and myself and Tendulkar; he explained that he wanted to give chances to youngsters so youngsters can play all the matches here because the next World Cup is also here, so they'll get an idea of how the pitches behave in Australia."

Sehwag was asked if accommodating all three openers in an XI was not feasible. "I don't think so, we played together in the World Cup and we won games," he said. "We want to give chances to youngsters and it's good for every team to just keep rotating players so they will be fresh for the next game; so that's what I think [it is about]."

When asked about their fielding, Sehwag asked: "Did you see my catch?" and smiled. He was referring to the full-length diving catch he took at midwicket to send Mahela Jayawardene back. "We are same for the last 10 years. Nothing has changed," he said.

Sehwag was then asked if the 20 runs that the younger legs are supposed to save in the field are a good enough reason to keep persisting with then even as they continue to flounder with the bat. "You have to ask Dhoni again," he said. "What he told us is he has to give chances to youngsters; they will come here and play the next World Cup. That's what he told us."

Is he now going to have a chat with Dhoni? "Why should I have a chat with him? He is the captain, he is the leader; if he and the coach think we should give breaks to the top order, that's fine, I am okay with that. I don't have any issues with that."

Is Sehwag surprised at this apparent lack of communication? Shouldn't he now confront the captain? "I am available for all the matches. It depends on the captain and the coach, what XI they pick. If they give the reason that we want to give chances to youngsters and you take a break, I am happy with that."

In principle, though, Sehwag remains a supporter of the rotation policy, and said he had been advocating it for a long time. "I have been saying for a couple of years that we have got to rotate. Give more chances to youngsters because they will play more matches in the coming years. I told Dhoni before the last World Cup that if [Suresh] Raina, Rohit [Sharma], Virat Kohli play 100 matches they will get good experience so that they can fire at the right time. So it's good thinking."

On the surface, there seems to be a serious lack of communication in the Indian camp. After India win a game, Gautam Gambhir says the game should not have been taken into the last over. The next day, Dhoni says the set top-order batsmen should finish games off. There are various reasons given for the rotation policy, and if Sehwag is to be believed he has learned from the press that Dhoni thinks the top-order trio is too slow in the field.

Despite all that, Sehwag says the team is one happy unit. "We are one unit. We are very happy. He is the captain. He can say whatever he wants to say, and he has been addressing the media for the last couple of years. We are okay with that."

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    the team for the next match verses australia and srilanka should be.......sewag,gambhir, i pathan, kholi, sachin, dhoni, r sharma,raina,ashwin,zaheer, and praveen....... ithink this is d best line up... with 4 bolwer and have 5 part time bolwer can be used to complete the 5 bolwer quota....come on leave all the differences.....u r all professional as u all have should in the past....u r playing for the pride and millions people in india and through out the world...... come on guys u can do it ......all d best to reach the finals and then bring the CB cup home....

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    The people like Sachin, Dravid, Jayasooriya are the real barrier to the future development of any country's cricket and if a average cricketers like Koholi or Chandimal get the same opportunities they would get better runs than these fellows. The selfishness of Sachine and Santh as an example rued the wonderful talents like Badrinath and Kartik. God bless India Cricket if these selfish men decided to stay further. The value of people like Sunny, Murali, Warne and Anil are more special when compare with this old grand papas

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    Throw sachin, sehwag out of the playing eleven .If possible get a replacement for vinay kumar by picking praveen kumar,he is sidelined for so many days don't know why the selectors are resting him.Hes a perfect player in these kinda situations & a better batsmen than vinay kumar...& last but not the least pray for YUVI the genuine match winner

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    Sehwag should concentrate on his game instead of media, Dhoni should respect the senoir players because sachin has done very for the Indian team instead of suresh raina. No doubt Dhoni is great captain in ODIs. Why he is showing partiality on Suresh Raina who did not bat well from the past 20 innings.Suresh Raina is a talented batsman but he lacks the maturity in batting even after playing 140 ODIs. Dhoni should think about Ravindra Jedaja too, Ravindra Jedaja is just like a part time bowler and part time bats man. There are many part time bowlers in the team who are professional in their batting.Among the young stars virat kohli and rohit sharma deserve the place as complete batsman in the team.Dhoni should concentrate on rotation of fast bowling because India lacks strength in fast bowling.

  • Rahul on February 23, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    Throw Sehwag & Gambhir out of the team and everything will be all right...India will start winning again...If youngster are getting picked in the team then why everyone is opposing it,dont u remember the test series when seniors were not performing then everyone was saying that give chances to younger players...& now they r getting chances then everyone has been saying why they r getting chances..what is fault in playing jadeja,this guy is bowling full quota of overs+sharp fielder+not done well in batting..But what r ours openers doing in this series..Let them play only in India..They will start scoring centuries and double ton...before making any such comments they should start thinking about their batting...& sachin must retire after CB Series..I know he is a great player but everyone has to go one day just like pointing.....

  • raj on February 23, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    It is obvious that the current crop of youngsters do not have the potential to reach the heights of Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman & Kumble - only exception being Kohli. However, they need to given the opportunities to ensure that India does not sink even further into the doldrums. As for fielding, Tendulkar may not be the quickest around the field but he remains India's safest fielder - he does not often drop catches (I've seen him play for many years but I have never seem him drop a simple catch - he has dropped a few in the slips but they are never simple there). As for runs, I still think Sewhag and Tendulkar are better than the youngsters even though they are out of form. Raina lacks the correct technique whereas Rohit is highly talented but lacks application and determination, I feel. Rohit is a batsman's version of Sreesanth!

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    The dissent in the cricket team is baffling and it is hard to believe that these are same guys who fought in unity just few months back for the WC.....I strongly feel that the new coach appointed for the team is incapable and uninspiring....I feel that Fletcher is behaving in the same way like Chappel did......and widening the already existing gulf between senior and junior players.I really miss excellent team management in Kirsten days when player used to fight with unity and come back strongly even when chips were down. In my opinion Fletcher should be immediately sacked........who can manage bunch of highly talented players........and transform them into winning team. I hope Black days of Chappel era will not repeat itself. for eg. Every time sachin comes to bat he looks in excellent touch....but poor man management is playing down on his mind and he is unable to take advantage of good starts...I feel faliure of sachin even in form is indication of mediocrity of Fletcher as a coach

  • Manojkumar on February 23, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Its so unfair. People talks about seniors all the time. 1. Dhoni can leave two chances of run out by not just follow the basic idea of standing behind the stumps when trying to run out.

    2.Dhoni can let jadeja stand in the field and not bowl when rohit and raina can bowl, then why the hell we need him(Jadeja) for.

    3.Dhoni can let jadeja bat before partiv patel(One of the former opener) can bat.

    4. Seniors are not that bad in fielding when compared to vinay, ashwin, umesh yadav, Praveen kumar (all these young bloods).Sachin hardly drops catches. Look at the catch taken by Shewag.

    5. What makes sense when a captain (Dhoni) drops the in-form player (gambhir) who scores two 90's in the name of player rotation.

    6. Dhoni - Current age: 30 years 231 days, played : 67 test matches, 201 odi's, 30 T20 matches.

    Gambhir - Current age 30 years 132 days, played : 48 test matches, 129 odi's, 25 T20 matches.

    In what way does Gambhir falls under the Senior category and Dhoni not.

  • Cricket on February 23, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Sehwag should concentrate on his own form. In the last one year except for the 217 against the hapless WI, he has not delivered any performance worth noting. At this rate very soon he may be out of the team. He has chosen a wrong time to get into a rough argument with the skipper.

  • Vinod on February 23, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Dhoni likes Jadeja so much, that he is bending out of shape to play him in the XI. He is giving silly excuses to ensure that Jadeja plays. And even when Jadeja plays, Dhoni does not bowl him and use him as a specialist batsman. Hahaha. Dhoni does not know what he is doing. With Pathan in the XI as an all-rounder, what is the need to play that waste of a player, Jadeja?

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