Greg Chappell criticises 'loveable rogue' Sehwag

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Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012, 16:13 [IST]
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Greg criticises 'loveable rogue' Sehwag

Bangalore, Sep 27: Former India coach Greg Chappell has revealed how he had to go through a frustrating time handling Virender Sehwag who he feels is in "danger of squandering his God-given talent."

Writing a column in "The Hindu" newspaper on Thursday, Chappell criticised Sehwag's attitude during his tenure as India coach.

"I was saddened to see Virender Sehwag left out of the Indian team this week. Despite my frustrations with him during my tenure as Indian coach I could not help but love him. He is, after all, a loveable rogue. And he can bat better than most," Chappell stated in his column.

He added: "To say that Viru was one of the great frustrations of my time with the team is an understatement. Sadly, he continues to disappoint and is in danger of squandering his God-given talent. The person who is least likely to be fazed by all of this is Virender himself.

What I soon learned about him was that Viru did not want to dedicate himself to taking his talent to its zenith. He was happy to turn up and play and accept what came his way. No amount of cajoling from me could shift him from his insouciant way."

Sehwag has not been in great form in recent times. India dropped him for the World T20 game against England last Sunday. It is still not clear whether he will play in Friday's Super Eight game against Australia in Colombo.

Chappell, who took over as India coach in 2005 and left the scene after a dismal World Cup campaign in the Caribbean in 2007, also said that he was "frustrated" at Sehwag not keeping himself fit.

"The other area of frustration for me was that he did not keep himself in good shape and would often be troubled by a back ailment that restricted him in the field and made him even less likely to want to put time into expanding his ability. Apart from his batting skills, he is a very talented off-spin bowler and he should have been the best slip fielder in the team, but he eschewed the responsibility at every opportunity."

He continued: "Strangely, for someone who only wants to play the game on his terms, he harbours a desire to captain his country. I have no doubt that he could do it for he understands the game well, but what he fails to grasp is that with the honour comes responsibility. In fact, the responsibility to show personal leadership has to come before one can earn the higher honour. He wants the prize, but has been unwilling to pay the price.

The surprising thing was that when Viru got runs in 50-over cricket, India often lost. For one thing, he seemed more concerned with his strike rate than the bigger picture. He would play shots from the first ball and not stop until he got out, which was often just when the team needed him to go on to a big score."

The Australian, known for his forthright views on cricket matters has come out with his latest comments on an Indian player. It is sure to draw flak from many quarters. And how will Sehwag respond to this? We will have to wait and watch for this from the Delhi batsman.


Story first published:  Thursday, September 27, 2012, 13:38 [IST]
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