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Sehwag going down the Ganguly way

I wish I had written this 3 weeks ago; actually I wish someone with influence over Virender Sehwag had.

Being a huge Sehwag fan and of Gambhir to a lesser extent, I cannot understand what possessed Delhi/Gambhir to break up Sehwag-Gambhir opening pair that won them so many matches in IPL, leave alone the small matter that it's the best opening combination in the world today and in the history of Indian cricket in all three forms of the game.

They deserved to lose today for not acknowledging & addressing this problem in time - they have had enough failures at the top to know.

That said, Sehwag has to take personal responsibility and grow up. It is great that he has all this talent, mental strength & unselfish attitude, but he has to understand that it's all about winning - not just about not believing "in wasting balls" as he said recently.

Also, asked about his tendency to get out playing risky shots, he correctly pointed out that a risky shot for someone else may be less risky for him- and vice-versa (and also that a defensive stroke may sometimes be more risky than an attacking shot). Yet even granting him all that, he still has a responsibility - in the interest of helping his team win - to curb "risky shots" by his own definition of a "risky" shot.

And he most definitely can do that - he has a role model in MS Dhoni who has done precisely that. Dhoni is an equally aggressive & mentally strong player with lesser talent, but has come through more often when his team has needed him by showing greater maturity & willingness to calibrate his batting style to the match situation.

That last bit about match situation and personal contribution should be ringing alarm bells for Sehwag, his well-wishers, and all of us who know how his contribution can change the outcome of almost any game.  Sehwag seems to have lost his desire to contribute to wins through his own batting, especially in the limited-overs formats - shades of what brought his mentor, Saurav Ganguly down.

It's about time for Sehwag to chuck Ganguly to the dustbin of history and instead look to the man who replaced him for inspiration- MS Dhoni. Otherwise, he may find himself going down the same path of ignominious ending to his T20 & ODI careers.

[Originally posted on my personal blog at muralikd.blogspot.com, April 18, 2010]

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