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Is Sehwag now scared to open the innings even in domestic cricket?

March 03, 2014 16:17 IST

Is Sehwag now scared to open the innings even in domestic cricket?

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Out of favour Indian opener Virender Sehwag on Monday pulled out of Delhi's Vijay Hazare Trophy North Zone leg match against Himachal Pradesh in New Delhi amid speculation that the decision was prompted by poor form.

While the official reason given was "sickness", it is widely believed in Delhi's cricket fraternity that Sehwag has finally taken a break due to poor form.

"Sehwag has cough and cold problems and that's why he has decided to opt out of this game. He also reported of feverish feeling," Chetan Chauhan, Delhi and District Cricket Assocation's chairman of the selection committee, said.

However, Sehwag conveyed his decision to the team's chief coach Sanjeev Sharma at 7:15 am in the morning while the players were instructed to report to the ground at 7:30 am.

"Viru [Sehwag] texted me in the morning and told me that he is sick," Sharma said when asked about Sehwag's absence.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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'Sehwag does have an issue regarding opening the innings'

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Interestingly, Sharma also confirmed that Sehwag was slotted to open the innings had he played.

"Had he played this match, he would have opened the innings," Sharma said.

A senior DDCA official preferring anonymity questioned Sehwag's pullout only 15 minutes prior to reporting time.

"Look, everybody knows that Sehwag does have an issue regarding opening the innings. He himself had many a times made it clear that he doesn't want to open. Although that's a negative mentality but people are raising questions as to how he can get this leeway despite repeated failures.

"Maybe he is now being given feelers by the team management that he should open in the best interest of the team," the official said.

The 35-year-old Sehwag scored 14 and 10 respectively against Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Playing with spectacles, his famous hand-eye coordination has gone down considerably and he struggled for runs in domestic cricket last season following his axing from the national team.


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

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