‘Wanted to quit ODIs after Dhoni dropped me but Sachin changed my mind’: Sehwag recalls 2008 Australia tour

Updated on Jun 02, 2022 07:25 AM IST

There was a point in Sehwag's career when the dashing opener thought of quitting the game. In a recent interaction, Sehwag said he wanted to retire from ODI cricket during the Australia tour in 2008 after then India captain MS Dhoni had dropped him for a few games.

Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar during the CB series in Australia in 2008(AFP/File)
Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar during the CB series in Australia in 2008(AFP/File)

Close to 7 years after his retirement from international cricket, Virender Sehwag is still considered to be one of the most destructive opening batters to have ever played the game. Chances are high that it will remain the same for many years to come. But there was a point in Sehwag's career when the dashing opener thought of quitting the game. In a recent interaction, Sehwag said he wanted to retire from ODI cricket during the Australia tour in 2008 after then India captain MS Dhoni had dropped him for a few games.

"In 2008 when we were in Australia, this question (of retirement) came to my mind. I made a comeback in the Test series, scored a 150. In the ODIs, I couldn't score that much in three-four attempts. So MS Dhoni dropped me from the playing XI then the thought of quitting ODI cricket came to my mind. I thought I will continue playing only Test cricket," Sehwag said on Cricbuzz show 'Match Party.'

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Sehwag who had made a roaring comeback a month ago in the Test side under Anil Kumble's captaincy, played only 5 out of India's 10 matches in the Commonweath Bank tri-series featuring hosts Australia and Sri Lanka that followed it.

The swahbuckling right-hander was dropped from the playing XI after scoring 6, 33, 11, and 14 in India's first four matches in the tri-series. After being kept away from the XI for the two matches in Adelaide, Sehwag was once again brought back into the XI in the next league match against Australia in Sydney but another failure (14) from the right-hander meant he was axed again.

India went on to achieve a historic win by beating Australia 2-0 in the best of three finals of that CB series but Sehwag did not play any part after that match on February 24.

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Sehwag also revealed that it was Sachin Tendulkar who stopped him from announcing his retirement from the ODI format during that Australia tour. "Sachin Tendulkar stopped me at that time. He said 'this is a bad phase of your life. Just wait, go back home after this tour, think hard and then decide what to do next'. Luckily I didn't announce my retirement at that time," he said.

Sehwag went on to play for another 7-8 years for India in all three formats of the game and even won the ODI World Cup in 2011. The former right-hander shared this story when he was asked about whether Virat Kohli will be considring taking a break from cricket due to his prolonged dry run with the bat.

"There are two types of players - Those who like challenges, they have fun in such situations and Virat is one of those. He listens to all the criticism, reacts on the field by scoring runs to prove them wrong. The other type are the ones who are unaffected by all the noise because at the end of the day they know what they need to do. I was that kind of player. I didn't care who criticised me. I wanted to play, score runs and go home," Sehwag added.

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