Bangalore: Greg Chappell, who coached India between 2005 and 2007, has expressed his frustration with the way Virender Sehwag has squandered his "God-given talent", saying that Sehwag "wants the prize, but has been unwilling to pay the price".
Calling Sehwag "a loveable rogue", Chappell said that he was "the most gifted ball striker" he had seen. At the same time, Chappell was scathing in his criticism of Sehwag's "profligate" ways.
"To say that Viru (Sehwag) was one of the great frustrations of my time with the team is an understatement," he wrote, in an article published in The Hindu. "Sadly, he continues to disappoint and is in danger of squandering his God-given talent. The person who is least likely to be fazed by all of this is Virender himself."
Chappell writes about Sehwag's lack of discipline when it came to training, saying that his idea of training was just to smash every ball that was bowled at him, with complete disregard for plans and processes. "It was only during periods of relative poor form that he was prepared to spend time getting things back on track," wrote Chappell. "As soon as he made some runs he slipped back into old habits and appeared content to practice in the same old profligate way."
Chappell suggested that Sehwag had the skill and nous to captain the side, but not the temperament. "He seemed more concerned with his strike rate than the bigger picture," he wrote. "He would play shots from the first ball and not stop until he got out, which was often just when the team needed him to go on to a big score."
With India having beaten England convincingly at the World Twenty20 when Sehwag was rested, his place in the XI is far from secure. (Also read: Dhoni says he may play five bowlers vs Australia)
According to Chappell, it was too late for Sehwag to change. "If (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni and the selectors have decided that enough is enough and that they have a better chance of winning the World Twenty20 without him, I reckon the Australian bowlers will breathe a little easier on Friday," he wrote, alluding to Sehwag's ability to change a game singlehandedly with his unfettered strokeplay.