Sunil Gavaskar has no reservations in describing Virender Sehwag as a match winner. The dashing opener however was left out of the India squad for the opening three ODIs vs England and it may have been as much about his recent slump in form as his approach and attitude, feels the former cricketer.
Sehwag's recent form, much like that of most of India's top-order batsmen, has been iffy in the recent past. In fact, he only managed 35 runs in first two ODIs against Pakistan in the recently concluded series - both eventually lost by his side. While Gavaskar feels form may have been a factor, attitude and approach of the batsman may have also played a role in him being dropped. "I think it was lack of form, he was no getting runs. I think there was a hint of concern about the approach and the attitude and that might have weighed on the selectors' minds when they took the call to leave him out of the side, today (final ODI vs Pakistan) as well as the three one-dayers (against England)," he told NDTV. "But he is a match winner."
Gavaskar felt time out of the Indian national side may auger well for the batsman who has the highest individual score record in an ODI (219) and a formidable reputation of blasting bowlers away, still. "A little spell out of the team may perhaps make him understand what it means to play for India. You don't really understand the value of playing for India till you are actually out through injury or when you are dropped. You miss the atmosphere," he said.
Asked about the decision to retain Rohit Sharma, Gavaskar said that while his scores are low, the Mumbai batsman has remained not out and usually comes lower down the order. "Look, if you come in to bat at number five or six, you will not get a chance to score hundreds. What he needs is bat at number three for three matches and if he still doesn't score, you can say he had the opportunities."
While hopes are being pinned on young guns like Cheteshwar Pujara to fire against England, Rohit's return to form and Sehwag's determination after being dropped continue to be a vital part of India's plans in the upcoming tours, looking forward.