'He came and said I'll be the next captain. Don't know what happened in 2 months that I got dropped': Sehwag

By, New Delhi
Mar 21, 2023 08:53 PM IST

Virender Sehwag came close to becoming Team India's captain but those plans couldn't come to fruition.

Despite all the batting records Virender Sehwag broke, not becoming the captain of the Indian team will go down as arguably his biggest missed opportunity. Between 2003 and 2012, Sehwag captained India in 12 matches, including their historic first-ever T20I against South Africa in 2006 – but not as its regular captain, only a fill-in. Sehwag's best time to become captain of the Indian team was in 2005 when Greg Chappell became coach, but surprisingly, after Sourav Ganguly was forced to relinquish his captaincy and eventually booted out of the team, the duties were handed over to Rahul Dravid.

Virender Sehwag came close to becoming Team India's captain but those plans couldn't come to fruition. (Getty)
Virender Sehwag came close to becoming Team India's captain but those plans couldn't come to fruition. (Getty)

In 2007, when Dravid stepped down, MS Dhoni became the captain and Sehwag his deputy, but the vice-captaincy could never escalate further. Weighing in on the foreign vs domestic coach debate, Sehwag explained the pros and cons of both while explaining how he came close to getting the India captaincy but destiny had other plans. "When Greg Chappell came, the first statement which Chappell gave was that Sehwag will be the next captain. I don't know what happened in 2 months that I got dropped from the team, let alone become captain," Sehwag said on News18 Chaupal.

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"I have always believed that in our country, we have good coaches who can manage the Indian team; hence we don't need foreign coaches. But when I was playing, I asked this question to my seniors 'Why do we need another foreign coach after John Wright?'. All of them, who had spent a lot of time with Indian coaches said that Indian coaches at times get biased towards players - some become favourites and those who don't are pushed at the end of the line. So when a foreign coach comes, he will look at them differently. But to be honest, that doesn't chance. Even a foreign coach can feel the pressure of dealing with a Tendulkar or a Dravid or a Ganguly or a Laxman."

Sehwag played under two of the most successful foreign coaches ever seen in Indian cricket – John Wright and Gary Kirsten. Under Wright, Sehwag found his feet in international cricket while under the supervision of Kirsten, he came a World Cup winner. With Wright in charge from the year 2000 to 2005, Sehwag was promoted to open the batting in both Tests and ODIs and scored his famous 209 against Pakistan at Multan. In between, Sehwag played under Greg Chappell too, but the world knows how it turned out. Among the three, Sehwag gave his thumbs up to Kirsten, who had his unique ways of bringing the best out of a cricketer.

"I feel Indian team doesn't need coaching; it needs a man manager who can strike and bond, friendship with all players. A coach should know which player needs how much practice and Gary Kirsten was the best in that aspect. He would make me play just 50 deliveries, Dravid 200, Sachin 200 and so on. After that, he would give us break," added the former India opener.

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