It's going from bad to worse for Virender Sehwag. Out of the Indian Test team since March 2013, Sehwag has been struggling for form and has failed to capitalize the opportunities the national and Delhi selectors have offered him. The 35-year-old former Indian opener has not been handed a central contract by the Board of Control for Cricket and if he continues to bat the way he has been, Sehwag's return to the national side looks highly unlikely. (Also read: Pavilion named after Sehwag at Jamia Millia Islamia Stadium)
In Sambalpur on Friday, Sehwag scored a duck as he continued his poor run with the bat. Odisha won the toss and put Delhi into bat, but Sehwag lasted all of four balls. Sehwag's best score in his last seven first-class innings has been a 35 not out against Mumbai mid-November. The last time he scored a fifty was in September-end this year. Playing for Delhi in a Challenger Trophy game, Sehwag scored 59 against India Blue in Indore.
While India team-mate and Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir has been trying his best to return to the Indian team, Sehwag is doing himself no favour with a string of poor scores. The Ranji Trophy is the right platform for struggling national players to find their form but Sehwag has unimpressive scores of 1 and 15 (against Gujarat) and 3 and 6 against Haryana in the last Ranji match at Delhi's Roshanara Club ground. Friday's zero will only spoil Sehwag's case for a national recall.
It remains to be seen how long Delhi's selectors persist with Sehwag. While Gambhir remains in the scheme of things for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Team India - Dhoni called Gambhir India's third opener - Sehwag doesn't seem to be in the radar of the Indian team management.