Being Virender Sehwag is not easy these days. Out of form, out of national team, out of favour (allegedly of course) and now, even out of good health - this once dashing opener has been on a steady slide. His rise was magical, his apparent fall and probable exit is worrying.
Out of form (and out of national team)
Sehwag has been an aggressive prospect up at the top and has delivered repeated blows on several occasions to blitzkrieg his way to awe-inspiring scores. His last such innings though may well have faded from the memories of ardent fans and acclaimed statisticians.
He smashed his way to a double-ton in West Indies but that was a year and a month ago. Since, the opener has averaged 23 in 11 matches. As a fielder, he has been magnanimous in gifting lives and runs to the opposition. As calls for doing away with the older generation gathered a thunderous volume, Sehwag became the first to be 'muted.' He was not picked for the ODI series against England and Pujara was brought in his stead.
Speaking to NDTV then, former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar had said that it will provide Sehwag time to assess himself and will make him work hard to reclaim his spot.
Out of favour
In the hushed under-belly of Indian cricket, Sehwag's rumoured tiffs with skipper MS Dhoni is cited as the cause of several of his problems. Several reports have emerged, only to be rejected as baseless, about their differences -ranging from selecting the playing XI to the egoistic question of captaincy.
While both Sehwag and Dhoni have said all is well, to conclude that every report and suspicion was an imaginary work of a destructive mind would be the ultimate example of naïve innocence. Simmering groupism in the national team may well be just one hard, un-deniable evidence away - perhaps on the lines of Harbhajan-Sreesanth's IPL episode.
Out of health
Virender Sehwag was chosen to captain Rest of India against Mumbai in the Irani Trophy. As Wednesday dawned, with it emerged reports that what opposition bowlers struggled to do for years, a stomach bug did in a day - declare this batsman out.
While Harbhajan was promoted, Sehwag found himself in what has now become a familiar part of the ground - pavilion. Even prior to this match, Sehwag's medical sheet would reveal a long list of twists, niggles, cracks and strains. While it is also suspected that external pressures exerted on him can translate into media reports on an injury, these remain suspicions and Sehwag has to re-start his period of recuperation - either from an ankle ligament tear or a finger crack.
Ankle and fingers aside, what Sehwag must surely be suffering from though is heart-break. Some reckon he still has a lot to give to Indian cricket and Indian fans. Ganguly recently said he did not consider Sehwag as a chapter which is firmly shut. With 8273 runs in ODIs (strike rate of 104.33!) and 8559 quick-runs in Tests, he continues to be a predator who may well be biding his time before one massive and definite kill.