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.