“MS Dhoni Dropped Me From Playing XI…”: Virender Sehwag Reveals How He Contemplated Retirement In 2008 And Sachin Tendulkar Stopped Him

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Virender Sehwag with MS Dhoni.© AFP

Virender Sehwag changed the definition of a Test opener with his free-spirited batting for the Indian cricket team. He played 104 Tests, 251 ODIs and 19 T20Is scoring 8586, 8273 and 394 runs in the three formats, respectively. Sehwag was also the first Indian cricketer to score a triple century in Tests. Even for such a great cricketer, there was a phase when he contemplated early retirement. The incident happened during India’s 2008 tour of Australia. Virender Sehwag elaborated on the incident, in a show, when asked how to deal with criticism.

“There are two types of players. One type of player enjoys accepting challenges. Like Virat Kohli. He listens to criticism, and then makes comeback. Then there are the second type of players who does not react to criticism because they know what they can achieve. I was that kind of a player. I did not care about who criticised me and who did not. 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’.

“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. I would have announced my retirement on the Australia tour, return to India and played only Test cricket. Time changed. We returned to India. K Srikanth was the chairman (of selectors). He asked me about ‘what to do?’ I said I was dropped for three-four matches despite being in good form. So, what do I do? I told him ‘if you give me assurance that you will pick me in all the matches, then you pick me otherwise don’t’. Then Srikanth talked to MS Dhoni during the 2008 Asia Cup. Then Dhoni asked me about my preferred batting position and told me I would play in all matches. After that I played good cricket.”

Sehwag last played an international match for India in 2013.

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