Home > Features >

IPL 2013: Crucial tournament for Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir

IPL 2013: Crucial tournament for Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir

It is imperative that Virender Sehwag (right) and Gautam Gambhir (left) get the runs in the IPL, a performance that would tell the selectors that they mean business and are far from finished © AFP

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, the once feared opening partners, find their cricketing career at crossroads. Both men have lost their Test spots, with Sehwag losing his one-day berth as well. During India’s rise to the summit of the Test rankings and their build-up to the 2011 World Cup, such a scenario would have been unimaginable as they often laid solid platforms. However, their fight and skills are now under test as they chart out a comeback — the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) being their first shot at redemption.

The IPL will not help them get back into the Test side, but a good performance here could do wonders to their confidence. Gambhir has already stated that the tournament isn’t a comeback platform, but its importance cannot be understated. It certainly provides a platform and there is more visibility when compared to other domestic tournaments. Shane Watson’s brilliant performance in the inaugural edition fast-tracked his comeback into the Australian one-day team and he hasn’t looked back since.

Sehwag will come into IPL season six with less pressure on his shoulders. Mahela Jayawardene has taken over the reins of captaincy and that allows the Delhi dasher more freedom. Knowing Sehwag’s typical uncomplicated mindset, the responsibility wouldn’t have affected his batting as such. But, with that gone, there is always a sense of a lighter load.

IPL 2013 will help Sehwag plot a comeback into the Indian one-day side. His last T20 International was during the ICC World T20 2012 and his last One-Day International was against Pakistan in December. India’s first assignment after the IPL is the tri-nation tournament in the West Indies and Sehwag should target that. If he can replicate his form of IPL 2012, he would be a serious contender for a berth for that tour.

Back-spasms have ruled Sehwag out of the first game and Delhi have to wait for him to enter the field of play.

Gambhir is still in the mix for the one-dayers, but needs to rediscover his fluency and form. In the last few ODIs, he has gotten off to starts, but failed to convert them into significant scores. During the IPL 2012, he unleashed a previously unknown side to his batting. The usually stable but attacking Gambhir shifted gears and was more aggressive. He combined that streak with his ability to stay in the middle to anchor numerous innings for Kolkata. His efforts were a major factor in Kolkata’s title triumph.

Coming into the latest season, Gambhir will continue to carry that air of dependability around him. Kolkata have good batsmen to back him, but Gambhir is their trump-card up front. The pressure on him may be a little more this time with the expectations sky high after the last success. In the past, he has always thrived under pressure and has the temperament to get through. Indian fans would hope the tentative prods outside the off are a thing of the past and that he plays with his natural flourish.

The Indian selectors have sent a clear message in the recent past — perform or perish. Gambhir and Sehwag are tested performers and cannot be written off. It is imperative that they get the runs in the IPL, a performance that would tell the selectors that they mean business.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India 2014

Loughborough becomes latest ICC-accredited testing centre

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s ton takes Pakistan to 219/4 on Day 1

Shahid Afridi wins it for his team in an exhibition match for displaced at Bannu

Younis Khan becomes 12th batsman with a ton against each of the Test-playing nations

Younis Khan equals Inzamam-ul-Haq with 25 Test tons

Younis Khan becomes 12th batsman with a ton against each of the Test-playing nations

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Australia’s best opportunity to bury ghosts of playing on spinning track

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here