Legendary opener Virender Sehwag on Wednesday admitted that he was “hurt” after being dropped in the middle of the 2013 Test series against Australia without any “communication from team management or selectors.” Sehwag was dropped after the second Test against Australia in Hyderabad but the ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ felt that selectors should have given him an option to play two more Tests and retire in an India jersey.
“I hadn’t scored runs in two Tests against Australia. So, I was thinking I would get a couple of more opportunities to perform well in the last two Tests (of the series) and then get dropped if I didn’t perform. If the selectors would have given me that option to play two more Tests and say that you play the two matches and then retire, I would have thought about it,” Sehwag told.
Asked if the communication was lacking from the BCCI and the team management’s end, Sehwag agreed. “Absolutely, nobody called me from the team management, selectors or BCCI. I got to know about it from newspaper, that hurt me then but I am fine with it now,” Sehwag said.
During his last three seasons in first-class cricket, Sehwag batted in the middle-order, something that he wanted in the Indian team but was denied. “I told the management (about wanting to bat lower down) but they felt that I was still good enough to play as an opener and they didn’t want to take chances with the opening pair. I tried my best but could not get an opportunity in the middle order,” he said.
“When I played my last series, Tendulkar was still there, Kohli and Dhoni were there. Pujara was playing as the No. 3 batsman. Tendulkar was playing at 4, Kohli at 5 and it meant that I had to bat at No. 6 after Tendulkar as you could not ask him to bat at No 3 or 5. So, there was no chance for me to bat in the middle order.” Sehwag, however, did not make any bones about the fact that he had a horrible next season for Delhi just after getting dropped and that effectively ended his chances of a comeback.
“When I got dropped, I was thinking that I’m a good player and can get back into the Indian team but I was still living in the mindset that I am an aggressive opener and can score runs but I did not realise that domestic cricket is totally different to international cricket and I was still playing in the same way,” he said.
“I did not score runs that (2013-14) season and my highest was 50-odd (56) and I was struggling to cope up with conditions in Delhi. I then changed my thinking next year and batting style by giving myself a little more time and I scored 500 plus runs, but I needed to score big in the previous season and maybe I would have got back into the team. It was too late but I was playing because I wanted to play the game,” summed up Sehwag.