Sehwag starts to get ready for South Africa

It was just yesterday that I was wondering where was Virender Sehwag when we were hearing so much about his compatriots Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir. As per media reports Sehwag has been preparing for South Africa and that too against some of the best up coming quick bowlers in India. The swashbuckling opener, who along with Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer, changed the way test cricket was played all over the world, has been out of the Indian team in excess of 4 months but has taken every step to make sure that he is ready when he is called upon to play for the national team once more.


The Indian team has a hectic schedule ahead of it in the ensuing season and he knows that there is a good chance that a player of his quality will be needed somewhere down the line. So he has decided to go to the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai to give himself a good chance of getting ready before South Africa comes calling. Interestingly enough Sehwag will be undergoing this preparation under the watchful eye of a certain Glenn McGrath who presently heads the Pace Foundation after assuming the responsibility from Dennis Lillee. He is in Chennai as well for his regular visits.


Over the years McGrath and Sehwag have been part of several fascinating encounters. The choice of McGrath over a conventional batting coach is an interesting one but perhaps given Sehwag’s unconventional playing methods it is a justified one as well. It could also be that McGrath may be able to show him where he is making a mistake and thus correct the chinks in his armour. The opener, also known as the Nawab of Najafgarh, played his last game for India at Hyderabad in what was the second test of Australia’s tour of India. Since then young guns such as Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Murli Vijay have contrived to keep him out of the national team in all the forms.


As it stands now Dhawan and Vijay have been penciled in as the first choice openers for South Africa and the spot for the third opener will be up for grabs. However, one feels that Ajinkya Rahane might be the man for that spot. However, it is heartening to see that Sehwag is taking nothing for granted and is willing to tough it out. His approach, though, has been different from that of Gambhir who has opted to play county cricket to get back to form.


He has also been making his best efforts to make sure that he does not attract any media attention and so has tried to keep a low profile on his preparations in order to try and make a comeback to the national team. However, my personal opinion is that he would have been better served playing some competitive cricket in England and realistically speaking his chance will come in the middle order as and when Sachin Tendulkar opts to hang up his boots. Even there he would have stiff competition from the likes of Yuvraj, Raina and Rohit and not to mention Gambhir and Rahane as well. As far as his days as an opener are concerned they are well behind him.