New Delhi: Not many cricket fans in India could have forgotten the knock Virender Sehwag played in his debut Test against South Africa in Bloemfontein in 2001.
Coming in at number 6, with India reeling at 68 for four, he put on 220 with Sachin Tendulkar. More than the runs, what won hearts was the attitude he showed on a pitch made for pacers. Even though India lost the match by nine wickets, Sehwag had announced his arrival in the Test arena.
As luck would have it, he played only four more Tests as a middle-order batsman before then skipper Sourav Ganguly decided he was the answer to India’s search for a Test opener. The rest is history. But in recent times, thanks to a poor run of form, one of India’s finest openers has been relegated to being a mere spectator — he last played for India against Australia in March.
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But the 104-Test veteran is set to try his luck in the middle-order for Delhi in the upcoming Ranji season, in an effort to regain his place in the Indian team. While he has made no bones about his love for a batting slot in the middle-order, the Indian team management has always felt that he can contribute more as an opener and Sehwag has played along — not always happily.
“I was a middle-order batsman who was asked to open and luckily for me, things went really well. In fact, as an opener, I am just doing a job given to me by the team management. Given a choice, I would happily slide down and play in the middle-order because that’s where I belong,” Sehwag had said.
Speaking to Mail Today, a source close to Sehwag said he is looking at the upcoming domestic season to once again remind the selectors that he is a force to reckon with if given an opportunity in the middle-order.
“Viru has been thinking about it for quite some time and one shouldn’t be too surprised if he bats in the middle-order for Delhi this season. Sometimes you need to perform and set an example, and what better way than to use the domestic season to show those concerned that he can still be mighty effective,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the Delhi team for the N.K.P. Salve Challenger Trophy has been announced. Virat Kohli will lead the glut of international and domestic stars.
Squad: Virat Kohli ( captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Mithun Manhas, Ashish Nehra, Rajat Bhatia, Puneet Bisht, Sumit Narwal, Parvinder Awana, Milind Kumar, Jagrit Anand, Mohit Sharma, Varun Sood, Manan Sharma, Unmukt Chand and Pawan Suyal.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.