March 2008: It takes Virender Sehwag to score a double hundred to cement his spot for the next two series. And when he doesn’t score a double for a while, questions on consistency are asked, naturally.
Imagine then, what happens when Sehwag fails to score a triple century for a full four years.
September 2009. What does Sehwag do while his mates warm-up for the Champions Trophy? He plays in some local game, scores a duck. But he plays. Next he plays in the Irani Trophy on 1st October. His mates will have played the West Indies in their last league match the previous day.
On 2nd and 3rd October are the CT semis, Sehwag will be biding his time in the Irani Trophy.
The call on Sehwag’s fitness was taken way back, so back it’s tough to recall when. It was decided then, that he will be unfit for the Champions Trophy.
The decision was in reaction to the furore caused by his injury in the Twenty20 world. This time, neither the BCCI nor the team management wanted to take any chances with Sehwag’s injury. It did make everyone, including Sehwag, MSD and the Board look clueless.
Now take the case of Sachin Tendulkar, who spends good lengths of time recovering from injury. And when he recovers, he just walks into the playing eleven – there is never any proof of match fitness required, rarely, if ever, is Sachin required to play games to prove his fitness. No captain, cricket board or team management creates scenes.
And then you have Sehwag, playing the Irani and Corporate scene. Granted he wasn’t exactly smooth on the injury front, but that’s Sehwag for you – point is, nobody stood up for him. Instead they went out of the way to make him look like a clueless idiot.
If you were Sehwag, why would you want to captain any team? Be it team India or the Delhi Daredevils.
In the last few weeks, Sehwag is making a clear statement of intent – do not fuck with me, I am not Rohit Sharma or Suresh Raina, and you cannot treat me like them.
I may not be Sachin Temdulkar but then he is not Virender Sehwag either, our paths did cross a long time back.
In the next few months, either India or Sehwag will have another reality check. And that’s where a new standard will be set. One will have to give.
Right now, it looks like India doesn’t deserve Sehwag. For me, he could be the next mercenary cricketer, and a far more devastating one than Flintoff.
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