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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Figure out why Sehwag and Gambhir got the Test axe

Figure out why Sehwag and Gambhir got the Test axe

Last updated on: March 08, 2013 21:33 IST

Virender Sehwag's axing from the Indian Test team from the ongoing Australia Test series signals the end of an era. He and his opening partner, Gautam Gambhir, who was dropped after the England Tests, were once rated among the leading opening pairs in world cricket, but a poor run with the bat in the last year or so saw them lose their places in the Test team.

They were a regular feature in the Indian team since opening together in 2004, save a few matches when injury or rare loss in form prevented the two Delhi batsmen from opening together.

This happened on 13 occasions since Gambhir’s debut in November 2004.

Virender Sehwag (left) with Gautam GambhirThe most recent instance was the Nottingham Test against England in 2011, when both were injured, forcing Rahul Dravid top open with Abhinav Mukund, and in the entire three-Test series in the West Indies before.

- Is there a way back for Virender Sehwag?

Overall, Sehwag and Gambhir opened in 50 Tests, for an impressive record of 4412 runs, at an average of 52.52, which goes up to 59 in home Tests, while it dips to 42 away from home.

Notably, their performance was way below par since 2011, which forced the team management to look elsewhere and find new openers.

Interestingly, Sehwag's own batting form also suffered in the last few years. Till 2010, he amassed runs at an average of 54.10 in 86 Tests, but since then managed just 916 runs in 18 Tests, at a lowly average of 28.62, which has eventually cost him a place in the Test side.

Rajneesh Gupta presents a detailed statistical look at Sehwag and Gambhir's record:

Sehwag-Gambhir's record as opening pair:

  Mts Inns Runs Best Avg 100s 50s
Overall 50 87 4412 233 52.52 11 25
Home 30 51 2968 233 59.36 8 17
Abroad 20 36 1444 167 42.47 3 8

Sehwag-Gambhir's record as opening pair since 2011:

  Mts Inns Runs Best Avg 100s 50s
Overall 15 26 907 134 34.88 1 6
Home 9 14 725 134 51.79 1 6
Abroad 6 12 182 27 15.17 0 0

Sehwag's record with all opening partners:

Partner Mts Inns Runs Best Avg 100s 50s
G Gambhir 50 87 4412 233 52.52 11 25
W Jaffer 16 28 1031 213 36.82 3 4
AS Chopra 10 19 897 164 47.21 4 2
M Vijay 8 13 842 221 64.77 3 1
R Dravid 4 5 514 410 102.80 1 0
SB Bangar 7 10 452 201 45.20 1 2
CA Pujara 1 1 57 57 57.00 0 1
Yuvraj Singh 1 2 47 28 47.00 0 0
IK Pathan 1 2 36 34 18.00 0 0
PA Patel 1 1 0 0 0.00 0 0

Gambhir's record with all opening partners:

  Mts Inns Runs Best Avg 100s 50s
V Sehwag 50 87 4412 233 52.52 11 25
A Mukund 1 1 63 63 63.00 0 1
R Dravid 2 2 41 39* 41.00 0 0
W Jaffer 1 2 25 17 12.50 0 0
IK Pathan 1 1 12 12 12.00 0 0

Sehwag's record overall, till 2010 and since then:

  Mts Runs Avg Hs 100s 50s 0s
Overall 104 8586 49.34 319 23 32 16
Upto 2010 86 7670 54.01 319 22 27 12
2011 onwards 18 916 28.62 117 1 5 4
Rajneesh Gupta