Virender Sehwag doesn’t know when to stop. Not when he is batting and certainly not when he is speaking either. The opener, who has just made a comeback to the Indian team for the ODI series against Sri Lanka, couldn’t help but take a dig at Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni during a press conference at New Delhi.
Sehwag was asked a simple question — With Dhoni’s birthday coming up, the reporters wanted to know what he thought of the Indian skipper’s captaincy and that is when he decided to put forward his personal views.
“I don’t know what others feel but by the time, Dhoni took over, we already had a very strong team. So his captaincy alone didn’t win World Cup for India. We had a very strong team already so we won the World Cups — T20 and World Cup. If you have a good team, you win. It’s simple,” said Sehwag.
“Australia had a good team and they won three World Cups as well and it was not because of their captaincy. They had great players. And so I’ll say that the Indian team backed by Dhoni’s captaincy won the World Cup,” he further added.
A couple of days back, Rahul Dravid, too, had mentioned that the team Dhoni took over was already a very mature outfit.
“Dhoni has been very good but his responsibilities were different from that of Sourav (Ganguly), he was taking over a team that was mature and almost everyone knew what their job was,” said Dravid.
Sehwag was done though. He also felt that Sachin should be allowed to pick and choose which series he wants to play
“Not only me but the whole country misses Sachin when he is not in action. But one should realise that he is 39 years and he should be allowed to pick and choose which series he wants to play. He will certainly be available for the Test series against New Zealand,” he added.
Now, the timing of Sehwag’s words — just before a tour — will once again raise questions about the state of the Indian dressing room. The Indian team hasn’t had the best of times on the cricket field and a lot of that might have to do with the off-field tension that the team is experiencing.
This, of course, wouldn’t be the first time that Dhoni and Sehwag would be at loggerheads. We’ve seen in happen in England a few years back and then explode back on to the scene in Australia. And this probably isn’t the last of this either.
The BCCI and Dhoni played their card by dropping Sehwag from the tour of Bangladesh and demoting Gambhir from the position of vice-captain. Now, it seems only fair that Sehwag will have his say.