Australia in India 2012-13 March 15, 2013

Sehwag facing biggest challenge of career - Kumble

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former India captain Anil Kumble believes Virender Sehwag is facing the biggest challenge of his career, after being dropped from the Test team during the current series against Australia due to poor form. In a syndicated column that appeared on Friday, Kumble wrote that despite the 34-year-old Sehwag not getting any younger, it is vital that India continue to have an experienced hand on the other end who can guide the youth during overseas tours.

India have dropped both Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag, who have been the established openers for the team over the last few years. This is India's last Test assignment at home before they embark on overseas tours to South Africa, New Zealand and England.

"He is the kind of individual who requires plenty of support rather than being put on notice, with a sword dangling over his head everytime he goes to bat," Kumble wrote. "Having said that, I feel it is going to be tough for him to make a comeback."

Kumble stated that he is a firm believer in investing in youth, but that should not be done at the expense of experience, as the balance between the two is important if India are to move forward. The conditions in South Africa, England and New Zealand are vastly different from those that the Indian players are used to in the subcontinent.

"Several of the younger batsmen have had little or no experience of batting in South Africa in Tests," he wrote. "They need wise heads to shepherd them through arduous challenges early in their career. That's where the experience of a Sehwag or a Gambhir will come in handy."

Kumble wants a plan to be put into place soon by the BCCI, so that India can make the appropriate selection calls ahead of these important series.

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  • SamRoy on March 18, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    Sehwag has no more future in the test team unless his reflexes and fitness improve dramatically to level it was 2 years ago.

  • dummy4fb on March 18, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    sehwag is an imp player let him play at home in 1st class cricket and let him make a way we need him there is not a great player as sehwag but really he needs time but that he ll come back but only with a blast after a break from international cricket as he did in perth when india was no where in series 2 0 down to australia

  • rosh280 on March 17, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    As you say sehwag may be facing a serious time at this juncture.meanwhile we could not forget his triple century and his contribution outside india. he is really an asset they should be in the team. at the same time we cant avoid players like murali vijay, shikhar dawan, ambati rayudu, gowtham, manish pandey, mayank agarwal, ishank jaggi, gurkeerat singh, amitoze, saurab tiwari, robin uttappa,sachin rana, asad pathan, rahul dewan, ian dev singh, rishi dewan, unmukt chand, parvez rasool, abhinav mukund, manprit juneja, jalaj saxena and many more. we should also use experienced batsmen of gauti, sehwag, yuvjaj, rohit, suresh raina too. the best explosive batsmen we could think of right now will be manish pandey, mayank agarwal, asad pathan, ian dev singh, murali vijay, shikhar, murali vijay and unmukt chand. among these manish pandey, mayank agarwal, murali vijay, asad pathan are really the explosive batsman india can think of.

  • Amit_Cric_Crazy on March 17, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    Mr.Kumble, I'm sure you have not nor any of us can forget the drubbing we got against Aus and Eng teams..4-0 each time, why our openers neva realised their positions..I wud certainly miss Viru and Gambhir but pls let youngster get into this team. I wont blame Fletcher, why criticize a coach if your players under perform...I know Viru/Gambhir will come back but for now lets relish..Vijay/Dhawan/Pujara's....I have confidence in these youngsters, they will rewrite history when we tour overseas...their hunger for runs/position in Indian team is just mindblowing !

  • Noboundary on March 17, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    I agree with Kumble that experienced heads are needed to guide the younger players in SA but the experienced heads should help them as experts and coaches not as unfit players occupying a spot in the team! Vijay, Dhawan and Pujara have done extremely well. We have more talent waiting on the bench to replace our middle order. The experienced did not do anything against this same attack and in same conditions. Time to admit that they over the hill.

  • TRAM on March 16, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    Let Sehwag or Gambhir play an innings of Dhawan's class, style , aggression (at least in their first class matches) before we even talk about their comeback. Until he reached 115, Dhawan did not score one air-eal shot. There were only one close pass at slips when he was on 90's and one edged 4 earlier but that was not a catch. He did not poke outside off stump like Gambhir, instead he moved his feet well and DROVE the balls. He did not hit over the slip/gully/point with static legs like Sehwag. Instead, he moved front and back and hit them along the ground and in the gap. He showed he can not be cowed down by bouncers, he pulled & hooked every short ball ! No Indian has ever played like this. And talk about doing it on debut! That speaks about his courageous mind. If you pick people for the Army, you want your most skilled, courageous and YOUNG ones to go at the front. So it should be in sports.

  • KrishCricLover on March 16, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    Yes its true that Shikhar played a marvelous innigns. But we tend to forget one's contribution and ability very easily in shadow of somebody else limelight. Have we forgotten Sehwag's triple ton or the manner in which he scored his 195 in Melbourne vs Australia in Australia in 2003. He is going through a bad patch and this happens with every big player. Even people saying that Sachin should take retirement came out when he was going through a bad patch. Shortly later he scored the first ODI double ton and the only man to break it later SEHWAG. and of course everyone knows Sewag's ability on his day. On his day he can murder any side harsher than any player. He can make a comeback.

  • dummy4fb on March 16, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    If Sehwag is back and opens the batting with Dhawan, from what we have seen today, it will be the most mind blowingly attacking opening pair in Test History!! If they both get going in their natural fashion, India could possibly score 700+ in the first day of a test match!!

  • Temuzin on March 16, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    That's right Kumble. But only when the experience hand stays for at least 10 overs on other side of the wicket. If sehwag gets out in first 10 overs what kind of guidance will he be able to provide?

  • dummy4fb on March 16, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Sehwag will be also consider for opener's position during SA tour late this year..Clearly Rahane is meant for Middle order position as shikhar made his debut today.

    Very good knock by shikhar

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