Virender Sehwag's poor form and incapability to counter Australia's rampant pace attack is one of the biggest reasons why India are suffering in the ongoing Test series.
He has become one of the softest targets for the Australian bowling lineup because their bowlers are well aware that Sehwag will rarely play sensibly, irrespective of what the situation is. They are continuously bowling him out side the off stump on a good length and forcing him to play on the front foot and making him edge the deliveries.
Sehwag is making no effort to see off the difficult period and help India get good starts. His dismissal early on is putting the pressure on the middle order and hence resulting in disastrous showings, innings after innings. Sehwag has been playing Test cricket for a decade but on this tour his lack of maturity and responsibility has added significantly to India’s suffering. The time is not far when he will be seen as a liability at the top.
There is no doubt that Sehwag is one of the most entertaining batsmen in the world and plays the game on his terms. Domination is his game. Occupation without domination does not interest him at all but there comes a time when you have to play more for team and have to change the game according to the situation demands. If he really wants to his name in the bracket of Tendulkar, Ponting and Dravid then its high time Sehwag changes his technique in Test cricket.
When Sehwag was dropped from the Test side in 2006, it was said that he was punished for his ODI form. It now seems to be his ODI form that has saved him. In 2011, he scored two centuries and a half-century and averaged more than fifty. No doubt his record-breaking 219 against West Indies beefed up his average, as did another big century against Bangladesh in the World Cup. But even quick-fire 30s and 40s elsewhere count in ODIs and Sehwag has remained one of India's best options for the opening slot in that format.
But his Test form has been nowhere near that lustrous. In 2011, he managed only 384 runs from 13 innings before this innings and if you add a zero to that figure it becomes 384 runs from 14. This is just not acceptable from the opener of a team who wants to reclaim the No.1 Test ranking.
Of the four half-centuries that he struck last year, three were against a weak West Indies at home. Sehwag has not scored a Test century since November 2010. His last away century was against Sri Lanka in August 2010. But here's the shocker: he has not struck a century outside the subcontinent since Adelaide in January 2008.
The BCCI needs to look into his stats and then decide whether to pick him up for the fourth Test or to bring in Rohit Sharma and open with Rahul Dravid who has virtually opened the innings with India losing their first wicket early in each of the three Tests.