Australia in India 2012-13

Sehwag facing biggest challenge of career - Kumble

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 15, 2013

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble share a light moment during the presentation ceremony, India v South Africa, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day, March 30, 2008
Anil Kumble believes Virender Sehwag's experience will be needed in overseas tours © AFP
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Players/Officials: Anil Kumble | Virender Sehwag
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India
Teams: Australia | India

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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 !

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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!!

Posted by 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?

Posted by   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

Posted by Amit_Cric_Crazy on (March 16, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

Sehwag/Gambhir, sorry guys, u have been given enuf chances yet ur Star/IPL status continues to come betwn ur place in Indian team and u have taken ur places 4 granted...4 sure, we don't need ur overseas exp, keep them upto urself, tell stories to ur grandchildren abt it, u r unfit yet to play 4 IPL/countie teams but not 4 ur national team..Thnk u very much, we love ur batting but love us too, we r specatators who spend our hard earned Rs.50 to watch u, which mite not matter to u but it certainly matters to us when u make a duck or the team loses, I love my wife when she says.."ohh pls switch of TV, its Viru again?..dont waste time, have ur dinner" !......neways....dhawan's hundred is not just mindblowing, he's served a warning to u guys...u've blockd his place 4 long time...its his time now..he will make good use of his time,m sure...later he mite becom one of u but then...another Viru/Gambhir/Dhawan will be ready to fire !!!..bottom line is..u r our shootin Star..will miss u both

Posted by mathaj on (March 16, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

i think viru needs support at this juncture, agree to the comment by Anil Kumble. He can play for 2-3 years more and be an important player in the one day intl world cup.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (March 16, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

It is not so simple for a batsman to adjust to wearing glasses as many people would believe. I'm not quite sure why, in this modern era, Sehwag did not opt for contact lenses - perhaps the thought of putting something into his eyes revolted him?! I think a lot of Sehwag's coordination problems and subsequent confidence issues many be resolved with either contact lenses or laser eye surgery. I have been through these issues and for sports glasses are definitely more difficult to adjust to.

Posted by gautm on (March 16, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

Bye Bye Sehwag !!!! Welcome aboard Shikhar !!!!!!!

Posted by I_m_AKS on (March 16, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

Dhawan is smashing the chances of VS & GG to return, what an attacking debut!

Posted by   on (March 16, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

First it was oh Dravid the wall, how are we ever going to find a replacement for him!? and now look at Pujara, he is scoring 200s every other game. Then it was Laxman, how are we ever going to find a replacement - and now look at Kohli. Then it was Gambhir, look at Vijay he scored a 160. So please stop this experience story. It does not matter or we would have not lost 4-0 in England and 4-0 in Australia with Dravid getting shamelessly bowled every innings in-spite of his "Wall" technique.

Posted by   on (March 16, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

Sehwag will come back soon, every one was in lean pathces even sachin was also. I will do come back. I do not think any one better than sachin in present batsman, than gambhir and viru as well, but for viru its bad time.... But i agree to the decision of dropping viru, he need to understand and more focused, once dropped. Gambhir should be included in two test, its unfortunate. and I am 100 % sure that india is not going to win any of these two way....

Posted by   on (March 16, 2013, 2:14 GMT)

You cannot have a replacement for a player like Sehwag, but again time is up for him. He has this eye sight problem and basically his strength is hand-eye coordination. U. Chand should be selected and see how he does in tour matches.

Posted by   on (March 16, 2013, 1:24 GMT)

Kumble seems to be not watching cricket for the last 2 years. He says experience of Viru and Gambhir will come in handy? It never did in the 0-8 loss against aus and England tours.

Posted by InsideHedge on (March 15, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

The old excuse about "experience". Oh yes, that experience will really come in handy when Sehwag and/or Gambhir have another dismal overseas tour. How valuable was his experience when he showed up in Eng 2011 clearly unfit? Or his pathetic returns in Oz? And isn't experience important when playing at home?

Every Test is important, not just a tour to SA/Eng/Oz, every game is impt, and Sehwag has had more than his share of opportunities. Besides, an inexperienced team in SA cannot lose any worse than the so-called experienced outfit that last visited England and Australia. Tired of reading opinions by recently retired players.

Posted by satchander on (March 15, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

I still don't know how people still seem to support Sehwag and Gambhir when the runs have dried up between them for more than 2 years. Why cannot we just let go of the past and accept new young players. We did that when Ganguly and Dravid debuted in Eng in 1996. At least here Dhawan is getting a chance to play 2 test matches at home before SA tour. Vijay has played some more matches at home as well. We need to take chances with these youngsters and hope they will become the next Gambhirs, Laxmans, Dravids. And if some new player needs guidance, one Sachin is enough for all of them.

Posted by I_m_AKS on (March 15, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

I think it's all over for Viru... it is sad but i feel he can be replaced by another Delhi guy U Chand and the another playing at Mohali right now, hope Dhawan makes the most of his chance.

Posted by Paddy789 on (March 15, 2013, 17:53 GMT)

somehow i feel that Sehwag has already played his last test match in Hyderabad...looking at the current politics (MSD & N Srinivasan) bullyng i doubt he will ever make a comeback...things were anyways not good between Sehwag and MSD...

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

It was a fair call to drop him. I understand he is a rare natural talent and his past record can not be denied. Same can also be said about his recent away form. Its not only his lack of run but also his lack of willingness to work hard on his game and fitness, that led to his sacking. Both Sehwag and Bhajji are one point chasing greatness and now it is up to them to show the world that they are going to retire as true legends.

Posted by foursandsixes on (March 15, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

Anil should know Viru's "experience" in South Africa is quite dismal. And on the following tours to other countries like AUS, NZ, Eng, etc. he will continue to be pathetic unless he finds his mojo. I hope he does, but the odds aren't great.

Posted by SasiGladi on (March 15, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

Sachin is there to share his huge knowledge no doubt he will be there in all these overseas trips....let these youngsters play please, Shewag is past Sachin is far enough to share knowledge about conditions....

Posted by Albert_cambell on (March 15, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

Sehwag is the most overrated cricketer i have ever seen. Scoring runs on roads does not make him a great cricketer. Even Ashraful and Rahim scored runs on the road. This shows the class of sehwag. He is in the same class with bangladeshi batsman. I would say Ashraful is equally talented as sehwag. i dont see much difference between both of them. May be Ashraful is slightly better. He scored a hundred in England against Mcrath and co.

Posted by abhijeet1in on (March 15, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

People asking for 'balance' of experience and youth perhaps don't remember the whole 8 - 0 debacle. We did have a whole lot of experience there, especially in batting dept.. Yet, that is where we failed the most. Also, the youth of today is the experienced player of tomorrow. South Africa, NZ, England and the WC2015 in Australia, are all pace-friendly conditions. We need to put our youngsters to test and we need to do it now. Viru is a gem of a player, but he has lost the form pretty bad and bringing him back in the team will only going to hurt his own career record and the minor rejuvenation the Indian team has seen in the last few weeks. Sachin is still part of the test squad and lets be honest between him and Dhoni, any youngster worth his salt has all the inspiration he will ever need.

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (March 15, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

ALl those who are asking for viru's head should do well to consider the fact that australians also went for such a selection policy but after the retirements of ponting and hussey, they have lost the plot. Anyone can see whatever is happening to australian tour.

As far as young players are concerned, all of them are used to domestic pitches only and become clueless whenever there is something for seamers. Be it Vijay, Dhawan and I do not need to name rainas, yuvrajs. As far as Jadeja is concerned,all of us saw how did he tackle english bowlers in 2009 t20wc.

Point is that sehwag might be out of form but the kind of player he is, he will always have a miss or hit with his form and since he follows that mindset, things become more difficult when is not in a good form. This has happened to all those players who follow the similar game and the need is to give them more support.

We will be needing sehwag's experience as much as sachin's experience. Dhoni vl be failure in seaming pitches.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

i am sure viru will make a comeback

Posted by roversgate on (March 15, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

That is why Dhawan and Vijay will fight for 1 spot while Gambhir takes the other. Viru as an opener is finished, he hasn't applied himself outside India and has been lackluster in India as well. I do believe he would make a nice #6 in foreign conditions until Jadeja gets accustomed to contributing more heavily with the bat.

Posted by satishchandar on (March 15, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

Wise head and the current form of Viru and Gauti doesn't go hand in hand. Yes Viru might not perform well when sword is hanging over his head. But what when it is not hanging overhead? Till last test, it was nowhere near him. The limit was pushed again and again for him and finally the extension reached a point. Viru need to make sure he plays more games by recovering his touch. I don't see the desire to do it in Viru anymore. Need to work hard to get it back.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

as much of a fan i am of viru, i think its time for him to zip up his kit bag and head down to the private leagues. His stats are spectacular and his performance 'has been' outstanding but 'has been' IS a pretty strong word here.

Posted by Macheo on (March 15, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

he will be back soon with the same pwr n aggression..

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