New Delhi:The biggest surprise in the list of 24 probables that was announced by the BCCI for the Australia tour was probably the exclusion of Virender Sehwag.
The Nawab of Najafgarh has been in terrible form of late, but not including him in a squad for Australia, where he has been rather prolific, perhaps sends out the message that it might just be beginning of the end of Sehwag's Test career.
Virender Sehwag at an art exhibition in the capital, a couple of weeks ago, when the rest of his India team mates were busy preparing for the Kotla test.
Sehwag has not been in the India Test squad for almost a year now, and his omission from the Australia tour means he'll be free to inaugurate many more such exhibitions.
Few though would want to argue with Dilip Vengsarkar and his panel on their decision to drop Sehwag. The right-hander has had an extended run of terrible form.
Sehwag has managed just one century in his last 22 Test innings and just one 50 in his last 10 Test innings. However, when he does get going he can be pretty prolific.
Sehwag's last Test appearance for India was in South Africa in January this year a nightmare tour, where Sehwag averaged a shocking 14 in three tests.
Largely unimpressive in the ODI World Cup as well, for which he was picked according to Vengsarkar only on David's insistence.
He was dropped from the Test squads for the Bangladesh and England tours. A trend that increasingly started to prove that the selectors had begun to look beyond Sehwag.
The latest decision to drop him for the Test series versus Australia comes at the back of Sehwag coming back into the ODI team versus Pakistan.
He played three matches, scoring a total of 78, which is far from impressive, Also, an important statistic for the selectors. India lost two out of those three matches, which he played.
Now the only issue before the selectors would have been that Sehwag has a successful record against the Australians in Australia.
In four tests, he has scored 464 runs at an average of 58. But that was four years ago, and Sehwag is no longer the same player.
Poor form combined with several in-form options for the middle order and opening positions means Sehwag's case is weaker then ever before.
With players like Parthiv Patel and Akaash Chopra scoring heavily in the domestic circuit, India's bench strength is looking good and Sehwag can no longer count on past glory to regain his place in the Indian ranks.