Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > News >

Five steps for Virender Sehwag to make a roaring comeback to Indian cricket team

Virender Sehwag © PTI
Virender Sehwag was associated with the IPL side Delhi Daredevils since the tournament’s inception © PTI

 

Jan 14, 2014

 

Coaches, experts said forgotten opener’s return to the national team hinges on motivation and self-belief.

 

Here are the bare facts: Virender Sehwag is 35; he sports glasses/contact lenses; he hasn’t scored a century since November 15, 2012; he has squandered starts; his last 15 outings in First-Class cricket have yielded a solitary fifty; he has batted at every position from one to six and has averaged less than 20 in the Ranji Trophy this season. Simply put, the greatest Indian opener since Sunil Gavaskar is going through a torrid time.

 

Sehwag’s tough phase has lasted agonisingly long. When the Delhi Daredevils showed no interest in retaining him for the Indian Premier League (IPL), it would have been the lowest point in his career. Now, Sehwag looks lost and forgotten, with neither direction nor (cover) drive. For those who love him, there isn’t a more lethal batsman than Sehwag. All they want is to see him effortlessly hoick quickies all over the park, as if it was just another day in office for him. At his peak, he was credited with the fastest reflexes and the best hand-eye coordination. Is it that age has withered him or is it just lack of motivation?

 

Sehwag has another diverse  interest now, the multi-crore Sehwag International school in Jhajjar, Haryana, where he spends a lot of time, suggesting that his mind is not fully on cricket now.

 

Sehwag has seldom given a damn about technique: his greatest assets are a clutter-free mind, hand-eye coordination and bat speed. Alas, those very unorthodox methods that fetched him over 8,000 runs in both forms of the game have come back to haunt him. The man who delighted fans and terrorised world-class attacks with his unique brand of daredevilry is now struggling against the most pedestrian of bowlers. But every now and then, he has scored those boundary-laced 20s and 30s, thereby keeping the spark alive.

 

If Sehwag wants to make a comeback, everything has to go his way – his ageing body has to work overtime, his weakening reflexes need a serious dose of recharge; he must work harder; score runs by the bucketful and hope that the Shikhar Dhawans and M Vijays suffer a string of failures. The odds are stacked against him.

 

According to Pravin Amre, a technician par excellence, motivation or lack of it is the biggest factor. “To play any form of cricket, one needs to concentrate hard. And if you ask me, it is in fact tougher to motivate yourself and be focused for a first-class or club-level match than in international cricket,” says the former India batsman who has coached domestic giants Mumbai, IPL discards Pune Warriors and India cricketers Suresh Raina and Robin Uthappa.

 

“You can’t say Viru has a poor technique. How did he play 104 Tests then? His methods work for him. So there is no point in going about making a radical change now. All he needs to do is make little adjustments here and there. You need motivation, sincerity and a focused mind to back you,” Amre said.

 

Former India opener Chetan Chauhan has watched Sehwag from close quarters. Now a senior official in the Delhi and District Cricket Association, he, too, hopes Sehwag can fight the demons and stage a memorable comeback. “Work harder, play more matches, alter your back foot play, don’t go searching for the ball and trust your instinct,” is Chauhan’s advice. “The moment he starts getting runs, everything will fall into place. Runs are runs, so it doesn’t matter if you get them for your company [ONGC] or local club or state or country. He is a great player. Let’s not forget that,” Chauhan said.

 

Sehwag, or any player of his calibre, can do the unthinkable and have that final flourish. But it will be an uphill task. If Sehwag was as technically sound as, say, a Rahul Dravid, then he wouldn’t have been out of the Indian team for as long as 10 months. What’s more, even Delhi Daredevils, of which Sehwag was an icon player and skipper, refused to retain him ahead of the IPL-7 auction.

 

Mughda Bavre, a psychologist attached to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), offers a different perspective. “Who are we to question his motivation levels? The very fact that he is playing domestic cricket shows that he is motivated,” she says. “When it comes to established players like Sehwag, there is no question of doubting their inner drive. You and I might believe that he as achieved everything. But we don’t really know what his goals are. Everybody is citing his age as a problem. But he may be wanting to prove everyone wrong by making a comeback at 35. The thing with high-performing individuals like Sehwag is that you can’t write them off till they decide it’s time. That he is still playing is good enough reason for me to believe that he is motivated.”

 

That Sehwag is still playing state and club cricket shows that one day yet again from the depths of his memory he will replay one of the grand innings that changed cricket for ever.

 

Vitamins for Viru

 

Set goals and work harder

 

Consult coaches and former teammates like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, who played till their 40s

 

Play, play and play. Runs are runs… no matter where you score

 

Stick to strengths: make slight adjustments; don’t go for a complete overhaul in technique

 

Increase focus on cricket.

 

(This article first appeared in DNA)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014  at Dubai

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Sachin Tendulkar — the greatest batsman of India

Sachin Tendulkar: A timeless fairytale

Sachin Tendulkar: The child, the father, but sexy? Not quite

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab KXIP vs SRH KXIP vs SRH 2014 MS Dhoni Rajasthan Royals RR vs CSK 2014 Sanju Samson Sunrisers Hyderabad

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Live Scorecard IPL 2014: Match 11 of IPL 7 at Sharjah

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Free Live Streaming Online IPL 2014

Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians IPL 2014 Match 13 Preview: Confident Chennai clash with desperate Mumbai

Live Cricket Score IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) match 11 of IPL 7 at Sharjah

Ryan Harris may struggle to regain fitness before Pakistan tour

Sachin Tendulkar given out off a wrong replay on his birthday in IPL 2011

Happy birthday! A bouquet of CricketCountry’s best Sachin Tendulkar features

Sachin Tendulkar – The century of centuries in tweets

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Truecaller ties up with Tata Docomo to offer free premium services

Tim Cook takes a dig at Samsung, says it means much more to Apple to get it right than to be first

‘India well-poised to play constructive role in global net governance’

Tablets and phones are passé: Onesie, the Wi-Fi jumpsuit is the newest invention!

After condoms, what is Ranveer Singh’s next endorsement deal all about?

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Live Scorecard IPL 2014: Match 11 of IPL 7 at Sharjah

IPL 2014: Allan Donald believes every game is crucial

Varun Dhawan voted before celebrating his birthday!

Also on cricketcountry.com