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April 11, 2013
Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott has said that Virender Sehwag may have played his last game for India. Sehwag was dropped for the last two Tests against Australia earlier this year and was also excluded from the list of 30 probables for the Champions Trophy.
"I don't think he'll play again," Boycott told ESPNcricinfo on the fortnightly show Bowl at Boycs. "I think it's because India have gone the right way. It took a little while to come around to it. They've given youth a chance. After they lost to England, I kept saying you have to give these young batsmen a chance. You have to get them in and you have to build again for the World Cup. I've never changed my view on that. You are world champions in ODIs, you have to move on, and it doesn't matter who you are, I always say, age is not the barrier, it's about performance."
Sehwag has had a poor run of form in the last year. In eight Test matches since April 2012, he scored 408 runs at an average of 31.38, with a highest score of 117. In six ODIs, in the same period, he scored 183 runs at an average of 30.5 and was dropped for the ODI series against England. His last ODI century was the record-breaking double-hundred against the West Indies in December 2011.
Calling Sehwag one of the best batsmen of the last 20 years and praising him for his "effortless strokeplay", Boycott said that the lack of a defensive technique was perhaps his only shortcoming. "He played it his way and, at times, on certain pitches, was highly successful," Boycott said. "But when it comes to the ball moving around and it was a bit more bouncy, his defensive technique was exposed. But trying to tell him and make him play differently, how do you do that? Sehwag has got all his runs playing his way."
He also stressed that it was difficult for a player like Sehwag to change the way he played the game. "His nature, his personality, is a more happy-go-lucky, generous, easy-natured, friendly, affable sort of personality that fits in with the way he batted," Boycott said. "He used to bat freely, with lots of strokes. It's not in his nature to play carefully, steadily. I'm sure people have tried to say, 'Can you play a little more carefully? You are older now, you maybe don't pick the ball up quite as well or quickly, or you've still got lots of talent and use your experience.' You tell everybody all these things but it's very difficult to change people from what they are. And, it's too late now. I think he's just going to play a bit of IPL and then, sadly, fade away."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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With too great an emphasis on limited-overs cricket, MS Dhoni's side have a set of skills and a level of concentration that are not commensurate with the necessities of Tests