Friday, October 12, 2012

Should Virender Sehwag Be Sacrificed For the Good of Team India?

There is a lovely sense of surreal Deja Vu as we sit a month away from the much anticipated India versus England Test series. With England entering the series in the aftermath of the Kevin Pietersen furore, and India with the M S Dhoni  and Virender Sehwag feud burning in every ones subconscious.

A further look into the two melodramas gives definite schooling for India with England failing to deal with the antics of Kevin Pietersen until it was too late. With its inaction and associated fallout propelling Captain Andrew Strauss into retirement and KP kicked out of the Team. Which was indeed the right decision for the long term harmony of the Team, but deprived it from a performance point of view of it best batsman and sincerest Xfactor.

Two key points come out for India over the KP example with the first being the destructive effects of denial and the second being that the success of the Team dictates how urgent the action should be. In a word if the Team is winning, even the harshest foes are the happiest bed fellows, but when the Team starts to lose then the claws come out...

We saw this indelibly with them all having smiles as glistening as the Brady Bunch during their sustained period of excellence, but Post World Cup where everything has gone to pack. It has been like Mutiny on the Bounty with Sehwag and Dhoni frequently being on a plain from simmer to boil that keeps rearing its ugly head.

Here is a chronology of their feud

* Cracks are first learnt to have surfaced when Dhoni got elevated as Team India skipper
* Relations soured a little when Dhoni rested Sehwag in the World T20 final against Pakistan in 2007, opting to open with Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan.
* In 2008, Dhoni once again rested Sehwag for fitness reasons during the CB Series in Australia. However, Sehwag later clarified that he was fit.
* The inclusion of Robin Uthappa for the CB Series final threatened to spoil relations further.
* Dhoni made a public show of team unity in 2009 when Sehwag carried a shoulder injury into the tournament and later was rested. A case of very bad PR.
* Soon after, Sehwag signaled his intent to captain Team India when he said, "I will not be vice captain, I am ready to be captain.
* Dhoni insisting on rotation policy and Sehwag resisting it, rumoured accusations of him being a liability on the field and lack of trust have are further learnt to have brought the relationship to a cut-off point. ( Times of India )
These clashes were the rancid entrĂ©e of events that has lead up to the main meal of the clash in Australia that was akin to full on mutiny from Sehwag and an embittered response from Dhoni.

"When Sehwag angrily questioned Dhoni's decision to leave him out for the crucial match, Dhoni shot back and questioned Sehwag's loyalty towards the team," the official is reported to have said. "Dhoni told Sehwag that he . . . had done little of note in the last two years in all formats during his captaincy. Sparks flew thick and fast and high authorities of the BCCI had to intervene and diffuse the tension. ( The Australian )

That was 10 months ago and the Indian Team has changed from a Veteran laden Team that could deal with such a ruckus going on in the background to an impressionable group that needs nurturing in a climate of support and togetherness.

But as the T20 World Cup and the stink that Sehwags dropping caused before the Australian game this issue is always bubbling on the surface ready to explode and engulf everything with it.

Making you believe that the only resolution is decisive action as seen in sacrificing one to restore the calm within the playing group.

At this point in the discussion it made me connect Virender Sehwag and the old Bobby Fuller Four song of ' I Fought the Law, and the Law Won'.

Meaning in this clash with M S Dhoni there can only be one winner and one victim with Viru being on the losing Team. Mainly because both have huge backing from the Indian fan base, but Dhoni has the added backing of him being entrenched as Indian Captain as well as Corporate India backing him to the hilt. That has seen his value being equated to a  net worth of $150 millionMeaning they will never allow their 'Cash Cow' Dhoni to be out of the India Team, the same as the BCCI who more than likely enjoys kick backs from these Fat Cats will never allow it either.

Leaving the only question whether the Indian Powers that be will have the balls to make that decision over a game changing force like Sehwag for the sake of Team harmony?

Maybe the answer to that is seen in the outrage that accompanied his recent dropping in the T20 World Cup.

Accompanied by the fact that Sehwag is arguably the most game defining entity in the Modern age with his blistering batting. That has seen 14 scores over 150 in his 170  innings career belted at a strike rate of 82.71 coupled with India having 35 wins, 19 loses and 32 draws in his first 86 Tests. In a word he was a decisive factor between success and failure for India and more than likely is viewed as still having that potential. 

Counter balancing this is the aforementioned rebel rouser demeanour that he is taken in the side coupled by the fact that his last 22 innings have only yielding 636 runs at an average of 28.9. Which is well down on his career average of 50.64.

So he has tried to raise shit off the field while stinking it up on it!

Which ultimately will leave his Fate to be decided over whether his past pedigree and profound meaning to the Team or his present struggles and potentially destructive presence in the Team is acted on.

You tell me which should be his deciding factor?


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Steve, and well done on your Blog

  2. I write and maintain a blog which I have entitled “Accordingtothebook” and I’d like to invite you to follow it.. I’m your newest follower.

  3. Just checking back for any new items you may have posted.
    I hope you had a very Merry Christmas.