Sehwag makes way for Pujara in ODI squad against England

Swashbucklers slump in form prompts move

Sehwag makes way for Pujara in ODI squad against England

The Sandeep Patil-led National Selection committee bit the bullet and axed senior batsman Virender Sehwag from India’s squad for the first three ODIs against England.

Sehwag’s exclusion from the playing eleven in the final one-dayer against Pakistan on Sunday was an ominous sign of things to come in Sehwag’s way. Young Ajinkya Rahane, who had been waiting in the wings for quite some time now, was selected in his place.

It’s a different matter that the Mumbai batsman managed just four runs at Feroze Shah Kotla here on Sunday in the third one-dayer.

Sehwag has been going through a prolonged slump in form in all formats of the game and speculation was rife that the axe may fall on him. Sehwag has averaged just 22.54 in the last 11 one-dayers he has played in the last 12 months.

This is the second time the Delhi batsman has been dropped from the Indian squad, the first time being in 2007 before he made a comeback the next year in Australia.

Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been in fine form in Tests and in the ongoing domestic season, has been drafted in his place to bolster the middle-order.

The top order has been consistently crumbling of late and the lack of runs from Sehwag and his partner Gautam Gambhir has not helped India’s cause. Sehwag has scored just one half century in 12 innings.

Pujara has been impressive in the Test series against England, scoring two hundreds at Ahmedabad and Mumbai in the first and second Tests respectively. He had been scoring consistently at the domestic level as well and also made a double century in Ranji Trophy against Madhya Pradesh last week, where he reached 200 from 150 in just 17 balls.

The sword was also hanging on Gambhir but for the moment he has been retained in the 15-member squad. While Gambhir has done little of note in Tests and T20s in the last one year or so, his record in one-dayer has been encouraging. Surprisingly, the selectors continued to show faith in Rohit Sharma despite his long struggle with the bat.
As expected, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed have been retained.

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