New Delhi: In a scathing attack on his inconsistent batting form during the Indian Premier League, former Pakistan Test captain Wasim Akram has called Virender Sehwag a "No. 11 batsman." This is probably the worst compliment Sehwag has ever got in his career.
A former Kolkata Knight Riders bowling consultant, Akram has always been a Sehwag fan. At a time when selectors gave the former Indian Test batsman the cold shoulder, the Pakistani legend has always stood by Sehwag.
"He is one innings away from striking good form," Akram would always say. But to label him a "No. 11 batsman" only shows Akram's frustration at Sehwag's consistent failures for Delhi Daredevils.
On Sunday against Pune, Sehwag once again made a bright start and then lost his way. His 10-ball 11 (two fours) has been typical of him in the IPL. Batting at No. 4 and at a stage when Delhi had lost David Warner and Mahela Jayawardene cheaply, Sehwag once again refused to show the responsibility expected of him. Is it just his lack of focus and interest after being booted out of the Indian team?
Akram says in his newspaper column: "His fitness and his hand-eye coordination are not the same anymore and he looks like a No. 11 batsman. He is not even a pale shadow of the Sehwag we all know."
But for an unbeaten 95 against Mumbai Indians, Sehwag has been conspicuous by his failures. He scored 295 runs in 13 matches at an average of 24.58. Sehwag had a healthy strike rate of 126.60 but it did not help Delhi's cause. Viv Richards batting tips - mix his game and take responsibility - definitely didn't make an impression on Sehwag.