Thursday, August 5, 2021
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Bitter pill called retirement

One of India’s greatest opening batsmen Virender Sehwag retired from all forms of international cricket and Indian Premier League (IPL) on the occasion of his 37th birthday. The decision comes after Sehwag signed up to play in the next year’s Masters Champions League 2020, where only retired cricketers can participate. Sehwag’s decision comes barely a few days after one of his contemporaries Zaheer Khan decided to bid adieu to the game. Sehwag has failed to find a place in the Indian team since 2013 and had not been in the reckoning either.

In a glorious international career spanning over 12 years, Sehwag played 104 tests scoring 8586 runs at an impressive average of 49.34, hitting 23 centuries and 32 half-centuries. He was a master hitter and even Srikkanth and Budhi Kundream could not achieve such a phenomenal success with the bat. He is the only triple centurion in Tests for India having scored a career-best knock of 309 against Pakistan at Multan, which also is an Indian record. He is also one of those rare batsmen to have scored two triple tons with his next one (319) coming against South Africa. In 251 ODIs, he accumulated 8273 runs at an average of 35.05 and scored 15 hundreds apart from hitting 38 fifties. In 19 Twenty 20 Internationals, he managed 394 runs with two half-centuries. He has been a part of two World Cup winning teams under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership, 2007 World T20 in South Africa and the ICC ODI World Cup in India.

We have seen drastic changes in the Indian side and the seniors are leaving the scene of action one by one. Sehwag could not control his emotions and was raising voice against captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.  Dhoni has realised his dream of packing seniors off and  quit himself from test cricket under pressure. Thus, almost all seniors quit the game in a master move and the selectors were harsh on Sehwag. When a player with less potential like Harbhajan Singh is getting repeated opportunities, a high potential Sehwag was ditched without giving a last chance. It is time for Indian players to perform or perish and not bask in the past glory all the time.

Virendra Sehwag redefined test match batting. His strike rate in tests was 82.23. His one day strike rate was above 100.  Sehwag’s retirement will disappoint many fans. He made batting look so easy terrific eye hand co ordination that helped him to be on the spotlight in all three formats.  We are all proud to have a dynamic cricketer like him to open the innings for India.  He was very humble during his playing days and good human being as well. An outstanding career came to an end.  Wish him good luck in his future endeavour. God bless Sehwag and his family.

C.K. Subramaniam


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