Virender Sehwag did precious little to catch the eyes of the national selector scoring just 3 runs off 30 balls on Day 1 of Delhi's Ranji Trophy clash against Haryana at the Roshanara Club ground here on Thursday. Before this crucial contest, Sehwag had scored 60 runs from four innings. The former Test opener has not been given a contract by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for the 2013-14 season.
It wasn't good news for Delhi skipper Gautam Gambhir either. The left-handed batsman, who like Sehwag is trying to impress the national selectors, fell for 29 off 84 balls on a grassy wicket that helped the quicks. Gambhir scored 50s in both innings against Mumbai but a big knock is more than overdue. Gambhir, however, figures on the BCCI contract list.
Gambhir was bowled off an inside edge and looked in discomfort against the left-arm pace of 26-year-old Sanjay Budhwar. Three of Gambhir's fours were edgy shots and he failed to time the moving ball on a misty morning.
Many, like former captain Sourav Ganguly, see Sehwag returning to the Indian squad for the tour of South Africa next month. But with the kind of cricket he is playing, it is unlikely Sehwag will retain his place in the Delhi Ranji squad. On Thursday, he looked lazy, unfit and the famous hand-eye coordination was missing. Three runs off 30 balls tell the story as Sehwag exited after edging to the keeper a delivery from right-arm medium pacer Joginder Sharma.
Another talented Team India hopeful Unmukt Chand, opening the innings for Delhi, managed to score just one run as Delhi collapsed to 55 for 4 after being sent in to bat by Haryana. Delhi are currently in seventh position with three points from three matches, while Haryana are placed fifth with six points from three outings.