Cricket Live News: Virender Sehwag, the former India opener, has thanked Anil Kumble for rejuvenating his Test career. After being dropped from the India Test team in early 2007, Sehwag lasted almost a year without playing another Test match before being recalled in late 2007 during Kumble’s captaincy. After an 11-month absence from Test cricket, Sehwag was included to India’s team for the tour of Australia, where he played his first Test match in a year during the third match in Perth. Getting back into the Playing XI, on the other hand, was not simple. Sehwag had been given a duty by Kumble, and how well he completed it would determine his return to the team.
“Score a 50 in this match, and you will be picked for the match in Perth,” Sehwag remembers Kumble’s words during Sports18’s show ‘Home of Heroes’.
In the match against ACT Invitation XI, Virender Sehwag got a century before lunch. Sehwag performed in Perth as promised, scoring 29 and 43 respectively in both innings and taking two wickets. Sehwag, on the other hand, confirmed his entrance during the next match in Adelaide. He hit 63 in the first innings and then a patient, match-saving 151 in the second to help India draw the Test.
“Those 60 runs were the toughest I scored in my life. I was playing to repay the faith Anil Bhai put in me. I did not want anyone to question him for bringing me to Australia. I was focused on the striker’s end; on the other end, I spoke to the umpire, humming my favourite songs. The pressure was gone,” added Sehwag.
Sehwag played seven Tests under Kumble averaging over 62 after the Australia tour. Kumble’s leadership brought out the best of Sehwag which included a career-best 319 against South Africa and 201 not out against Sri Lanka. In fact, Sehwag even claimed his best bowling figures in a Test of 5/104 in Kumble’s last Test.”
As long as I am the Test team captain, you will not be dropped from the side,” Sehwag remembers Kumble telling him. “That’s what a player yearns for the most, the confidence of his captain. I got that from Ganguly in my initial years and from Kumble later.”