At 34, Virender Sehwag's road ahead is tough. Dropped from the Indian Test team on Thursday, the Delhi batsman will find it hard to stage a comeback with the selectors backing youngsters.
Soon after his axing, Sehwag was quick to say that he was not planning to retire and wanted to return to the team. But the question is what are the options he has ahead of India's next Test tour to South Africa later this year.
After the current Test series against Australia, Indian players will be busy with the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 6). Even if Sehwag sets the IPL stage alight, it might not be enough to revive his international career.
For the first time in a long time, India's best opening pair Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag both find themselves out of the team. Though Gambhir is younger than Sehwag by three years and has more chances of getting back to India whites, Sehwag might have run out of time.
In the first two Tests against Australia, Sehwag, for the first time, batted with spectacles. The lenses did not help him rediscover his lost batting form.
In his last nine Test innings, Sehwag has just 163 runs and without a half century. And since November 2010, he has just two hundreds (one in November 2010 Vs New Zealand and November 2012 Vs England).
Sehwag is also out of the ODI team. He was omitted in January before the home series against England.
The man who redefined opening batting in Tests, has seen his averaged dip under 50 now. Always known to be an attacking player from the first ball, it will be interesting to see what route Sehwag takes to win his India cap.
For a player of Sehwag's calibre, he can prove the critics wrong and be a part of the team again. But time is running out fast for the 104-Test veteran.
Do we see the Sehwag of the old? Let us wait and watch.