India's selectors have taken a bold decision by dropping Virender Sehwag for the first three ODIs against England. Sehwag's form has been trending downwards since the 2011 World Cup - he has scored just one one-day hundred since that tournament - and with India looking ahead to the 2015 World Cup, his place was always in jeopardy.
Ayaz Memon, the the veteran cricket journalist, believes the BCCI has sent out two messages by dropping Sehwag, one to the player and the other to those aspiring to make the team.
"This could be curtains for Sehwag as a one-day player," Memon said. "He is 34. The next World Cup is two and a half years away and perhaps he is not in the scheme of things. And he has not looked fit enough. It is one of the sad truths – he has been such a genius, he has been your biggest match winning batsman, but over the last two years, in ODIs at least, he has not looked the part.
"Another thing is they [the BCCI] are looking at is to build a team, and they are looking for younger players. So that has gone out to the establishment. If I am a younger cricketer, you have sent a message that I have a chance, but I need to perform. Which is a positive way of looking at it."
Meanwhile the ODI series against Pakistan exposed the entire batting line-up, with only MS Dhoni showing any resistance. The fielding was also shown up by Pakistan, except in the last ODI, where a younger line-up gave India some dynamism.
"Our fielding was shown up to be poorer than Pakistan," Memon said.
"Pakistan have traditionally been very poor fielders. They have seen to have got their act right, except in the last match in Delhi, which is where the Indian fielding came alive. And I think if we won the match with a very, very poor score of 167, which was largely due to the fielding,which supported very good bowling also.
"You have guys like Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Jadeja in the ring and you are suddenly saving 15, 20 runs and you win a match."
On Sachin Tendulkar's return to first-class cricket for Mumbai, Memon said it clearly shows that Tendulkar wants to play against Australia and is determined to find his form before the series begins.
Watch Ayaz Memon and Tariq Engineer discuss Sehwag, India and Sachin Tendulkar playing first class cricket in the video above.
First Published On : Jan 8, 2013 10:18 IST