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A cricketing dysfunction of sorts

Sehwag gets going, gives the team a good start, then gets carried away and ends it all with a needless, galling stroke, writes Akshay Sawai.

cricket Updated: May 13, 2007 02:48 IST

Given the way Virender Sehwag has batted in the first two one-dayer against Bangladesh, there is perhaps a need to acknowledge the existence of a cricketing dysfunction — premature ejection. Sehwag gets going, gives himself and the team a good start, then gets carried away and ends it all with a needless, galling stroke (this form of PE is self-inflicted and not a malfunction of nature).

In the first game, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir provided India a start which was admirably lucid considering the big target and the trying weather. The Bangladesh bowlers and their supporters were losing steam. Especially after Sehwag disemboweled Syed Rasel with four boundaries in one over. Everything was going well. And then Sehwag's resistance, which now must be thinner than Peter Crouch, failed him. A rash move, a catch in the covers and he was on his way back to the dressing room. Cut to Saturday's match. We hoped that we would see a chastened Sehwag this time. We thought he would remind himself that he was lucky to be in the team in the first place and decide that he would compensate for Thursday's caprice. He would tell himself, we felt, that the peace-loving, ahimsa practicing pitch of the stadium offered him an opportunity to get a big score.

What we got instead was a replica of Thursday's innings. Only smaller. Sehwag scored 21 from 26 balls. Again, it was Rasel to whom he gave himself away. Again, he gave himself away after having defeated him earlier. Saturday's dismissal came moments after Sehwag had struck Rasel for a six over long-off. He perished while going for an encore, skying one for Javed Omar to run in from mid-on and take the catch. “People have roles in the top-order, they have to be aggressive, use the powerplay, use the hardness of the ball,” Indian captain Rahul Dravid said about Sehwag. “Sometimes it comes off sometimes it doesn't. But I'm sure Viru realises that he needs to get a big one now.”

Hope so. Sehwag is out of the Test team already. But his One-day flame is dying as well. In his last twenty matches going into Saturday's encounter, he had only one century (against Bermuda), two fifties and two forties to his name. In the other 14 games, he was unsuccessful. Add Saturday's disappointment and you have more misses than hits.

Dilip Vengsarkar, the chairman of selectors, had attributed Sehwag's contentious selection in the One-day team for the Bangladesh tour to his “decent” performance in the World Cup. He had a point. Sehwag, after all, had got a 48 in challenging conditions against Sri Lanka. But now, it would be difficult for Vengsarkar and the selection committee to retain him.For the sake of himself and his fans, Sehwag must realise that his efforts are leaving the Indian scoreboard unsatisfied. At this rate it won't be long before it replaces Sehwag with another man.