Australia in India 2012-13 March 7, 2013

Sehwag dropped for remaining Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

Virender Sehwag has been dropped from India's Test side for the first time since he made an emphatic comeback to the long format with a century in Adelaide in 2007-08. That, incidentally, remains his last century outside Asia. No replacement has been named for Sehwag for the remaining two Tests of the series against Australia, which makes Shikhar Dhawan a favourite to open in the Mohali Test starting on March 14.

The two remaining Tests of the current series, which India lead 2-0, are the last ones they are scheduled to play before they go on four continuous overseas tours beginning with South Africa later this year.

In his first reaction, Sehwag - who had been dropped from the ODI side for the series against England in January - tweeted: "Will continue to work hard for my place in the team. I trust my game and am confident that, 'I'll be back.' Best wishes to the team."

Since his comeback, Sehwag's performance outside Asia might have been questionable, but he kept his place in the side with typically dazzling match-winning knocks on the lower and slower tracks. Outside Asia, since Adelaide, Sehwag has scored just 523 runs in 12 Tests, at an average of 22.73 with a highest of 67. In Asia, though, over the same period he has amassed 3622 runs at 57.49, at a game-changing strike rate of 94.1.

However, over the last two years, the big innings began to dry up even in Asia. After his 173 against New Zealand in Ahmedabad in November 2010, he had to wait more than two years for another Test century. In November 2012, Sehwag earned another lease of life with a typical century against England again in Ahmedabad but, between then and being dropped, he has had scores of 25, 30, 9, 23, 49, 0, 2, 19 and 6.

This is a big fall for India's most prolific opening combination in Tests: Gautam Gambhir was dropped before the start of the Australia after three years without a Test century. Now India are possibly looking at a raw opening combination going into South Africa.

Not even naming a replacement opener is a big statement made by selectors who don't seem to have other options available but have still gone ahead and omitted him. Dhawan, his Delhi team-mate, is now a front-runner for Mohali, but Ajinkya Rahane can't be ruled out either. Sandeep Patil, the chairman of selectors, did say before the start of the England series that Rahane was picked as a middle-order batsman, but the Indian team management has been flexible and doesn't always stick to statements made in the press.

India squad: MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), M Vijay, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Cheteshwar Pujara.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al on March 9, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Agree with @ Cpt.Meanster - India could still win the last 2 tests against Australia WITHOUT Sehwag. We don't need him in the team any more. His glory days are over. The team comes FIRST for me. Sadly, many of my fellow Indian fans are BLIND in worshipping of their idols. It's time to get rid of TENDULKAR, ISHANT and BHAJJI.

  • Azweer on March 9, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    why not Bhuvneshwar Kumar open the batting?? that might sound weird and shocking to many .. but experimenting doesn't gonna cost much.. he looks a confident youngster with no pressure on him. he has been given the least of bowling spells in this series.he has some batting talent, but obviously not as an opener. but just to boost his batting skills and getting some confidence facing the new ball against fearsome aussies.. then y not!! its a good idea??

  • Dummy4 on March 9, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    Sehwag is dropped! I think it is good for Sehwag too. I know he will emerge as a better and careful cricketer. Probably Dhoni should had experimented demoting him down to No. 4 or 5. The experiment, God knows, could have been successful. Well I think now Viru should practice in domestic cricket and most important become careful and should be aware of his off-stump. That's what I could say as a 14 year boy. Sunny

  • Dinesh on March 8, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    Time for jiwanjot singh, give him a chance for remaining 2 test matches expose him to international arena. I am sure he will contribute more than sehwag, incase if he fails he can learn from his mistakes and may apply them in next season to imporve more

  • Dummy4 on March 8, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    What has happened to Indian Cricket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dont these cricketers deserve better treatment to the way out???? Do you think Sacking is the right way to end up someone's career.

    There have been some ups and downs in each and every cricketer's careers, even the greats of Rahul Dravid had it.

    India had the service of all time GREATS in test cricket!!!!!! The likes of Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Zaheer, some of the new names to be added in the list, Gambhir, Sehwag!!!!

    How many of these players had received the honours and respect when their careers ended ABRUPTLY!!!!!!!! when they could themselves call it a day, even someone among these does not know they have ended their career.

    How many matches these crickets have won for India. Every country had the service of such GREATS which they are proud of, but at least they have shown justice by giving them Honours!!!!!!! To quote an example, Australia is one country where cricketers retire even before we expect, but everyone give

  • Dummy4 on March 8, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Whats the big deal if he is dropped??? India has more capable openers,, if he cant take his position seriously,,,, he will suffer,,,

  • HNL on March 8, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    It is good to see that selectors at last did something which was long overdue. They need to show a bit more of the same thinking and bite the bullet by informing Tendulkar about his chance of getting dropped after this series, if he fails in the remaining two tests, i.e., anything less than his career average per innings would make him look very ordinary and make him a liability to the team. The way he has got out after scoring that 70 or 80 odd runs in first test has been utmost disappointing. He does not deserve any more chances than the 4 innings that he will get in this series.

  • Vijay on March 8, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    @ Smaeer Bhudwani, we shud only replace jadeja with another all rounder suited to pace bowling conditions. cant see Viru field like jadejda or in his own words, his bowling days are long gone.

  • senthil on March 8, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    Dropping Sehwag is a good decision but some people want him to retire, that is just stupid. Retirement should be their own decision. If player doesn't play well don't pick him for the squad. I don't think after Sachin's retirement in ODI. India has become any stronger, only india's opening become more vulnerable. Sachin worst batting was on 2004/2005 where he only averaged 27 approx. His 2011/2012 average was lot better and more than 40. If the retirement was forced on him than its not a good decision. He wasone of the Worlds best 11 in 2011 world cup.

  • Dummy4 on March 8, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    According to me put Shikhar Dhawan in opening slot with Murli Vijay and replace Jadeja with Sehwag at no. 7 position giving him chance of playing all rounder role and serving team with his experience. so the order should be like this 1.Murli Vijay 2. Dhawan 3.Pujara 4. Kohli. 5. Sachin 6. Dhoni 7. Sehwag 8. Ashwin 9. b. Kumar 10. Ojha 11. Ishaant.