Virender Sehwag's shoddy form has kept him out of the Indian team since March this year. Now, the veteran batsman's embarrassing show in Ranji Trophy may endanger his place in the Delhi team as well. Scores of 1, 15, 9Â 35*, 3, and 6Â after all, hardly reflect well on the man who was once considered the most destructive batsman in world cricket.
In the six innings that he has played so far in this season's Ranji, Sehwag has averaged 11 despite batting at No. 3. On Saturday, he walked in to partner former India teammate Gautam Gambhir - another out-of-favour batsman, but while Gambhir finally showed signs of his talented past with a gritty century, Sehwag had long left the middle after facing just eight deliveries.
The 35-year-old, who has the distinction of being the highest individual ODI scorer with 219 against his name, has been woefully out-of-form since late 2012. He last played for the national team when India took on Australia earlier this year. While youngsters like Murali Vijay (167) and Cheteshwar Pujara (204) pummeled Aussie bowling in that match, Sehwag could only manage six runs. And he has since been kept out.
Delhi team, unlike the national team though, has been ordinary in the domestic circuit and has been praying for Sehwag's brilliance to return and rescue the side. So far, the prayers have gone unanswered.
"Yes, Viru is short on confidence right now. Personally, I think he should open the batting but that is his choice. Of course, one good knock can change things," Delhi's chief selector Chetan Chauhan had said before the match against Haryana. The 'good knock' though is still awaited.
What may also make matters worse for Sehwag is that the two other players in the Delhi team who were previously sidelined for national selection, have come good. While Gambhir hit 153 - a confident knock studded with 25 fours, pacer Ishant Sharma also returned impressive figures of 5/29 against Haryana at the Roshanara Club in the Capital. While Gambhir and Ishant will need to consistently perform well to impress selectors, Sehwag may have blown his final few chances away.