Kolkata: Virender Sehwag had asked the selectors and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to rest him for the forthcoming Asia Cup, contrary to media reports that the opener was dropped. It is learnt that Team India physio Evan Speechly had submitted a fitness report to the BCCI prior to the national selectors' meeting at the Cricket Centre on Wednesday. The report deemed that Sehwag and Zaheer Khan should be rested for the Asia Cup that runs from March 11 to 22.
Even captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher told the selectors that Sehwag was seeking rest after a strenuous tour of Australia. Later, chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth called up Sehwag to seek an update. Sehwag told Srikkanth he wanted rest, but would be willing to tour Bangladesh if the selectors insisted.
Speaking from Australia, Sehwag told MiD DAY that he didn't want to hide an injury. Nothing to hide "I have back spasms. I need some rest. I have never kept my team management in the dark as far as fitness is concerned. "My injury is open for everyone to see. I have never hidden my injury before, or fitness problems. Even my shoulder operation was planned after consulting the then coach Gary Kirsten and skipper MS Dhoni."
Based on Speechly's report and the message from the team management, the selectors decided to rest Sehwag. It's puzzling that Srikkanth, who was aware of Sehwag's fitness-related issues, did not clear the air when asked if the batsman was rested or dropped.
It is also learnt that Sachin Tendulkar had conveyed his intention to play the Asia Cup to the management ahead of the selection committee meeting.
Explaining the reason for Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav's exclusion, chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth said that they have been rested, but failed to furnish details of the injuries they are suffering from. However, a source in the selection committee said, "Zaheer has hamstring niggles while Umesh has been given rest after a long series."