Out of favour Indian opener Virender Sehwag today pulled out of Delhi's Vijay Hazare Trophy (North Zone leg) match against Himachal Pradesh amid speculation that the decision was prompted by poor form.
While the official reason given was "sickness", it is widely believed in Delhi's cricket fraternity that Sehwag has finally taken a break due to poor form.
"Sehwag has cough and cold problems and that's why he has decided to opt out of this game. He also reported of feverish feeling," Chetan Chauhan, chairman of the selection committee told PTI.
However, Sehwag conveyed his decision to the team's chief coach Sanjeev Sharma at 7:15 am in the morning while the players were instructed to report to the ground at 7:30 am.
"Viru texted me in the morning and told me that he is sick," Sharma said when asked about Sehwag's absence.
However Sharma's next statement was even more interesting.
"Had he played this match, he would have opened the innings," Sharma said.
A senior DDCA official preferring anonymity questioned Sehwag's pullout only 15 minutes prior to reporting time.
"Look, everybody knows that Sehwag does have an issue regarding opening the innings. He himself had many a times made it clear that he doesn't want to open. Although that's a negative mentality but people are raising questions as to how he can get this leeway despite repeated failures.
"May be he is now being given feelers by the team management that he should open in the best interest of the team," a senior DDCA official told PTI.
The 35-year-old Sehwag scored 14 and 10 respectively against Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Playing with spectacles, his famous hand-eye coordination has gone down considerably.