New Delhi: Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott says Virender Sehwag is unlikely to play for India again and the opener will "sadly fade away" after playing a bit of Indian Premier League. Sehwag was dropped for the last two Tests against Australia in the recent series and was also excluded from the list of 30 probables for the Champions Trophy.
"I don't think he'll play again. I think it's because India have gone the right way. It took a little while to come around to it. They've given youth a chance," Boycott told ESPNcricinfo on the weekly show 'Bowl at Boycs'.
In eight Test matches since April 2012, Sehwag has managed to score just 408 runs at an average of 31.38, with highest being 117. In the six ODIs played during the same period, he scored 183 runs at an average of 30.5 and was dropped for the ODI series against England. His last ODI century was the double hundred against the West Indies in December 2011.
Boycott said India have done the right thing by blooding youngsters in the national side. "After they lost to England, I kept saying you have to give these young batsmen a chance. You have to get them in and you have to build again for the World Cup. I've never changed my view on that. You are world champions in ODIs, you have to move on, and it doesn't matter who you are. I always say, age is not the barrier, it's about performance," he said.
Boycott said Sehwag was one of the best batsmen of the last 20 years and lack of a defensive technique was his only shortcoming. "He played it his way; and his way, at times, on certain pitches, was highly successful. But when it comes to the ball moving around and it was a bit more bouncy, his defensive technique was exposed. But trying to tell him and make him play differently, how do you do that? Sehwag has got all his runs playing his way," Boycott said
He also stressed that it was difficult for a player like Sehwag to change the way he played the game. "His nature, his personality, is a more happy-go-lucky, generous, easy-natured, friendly, affable sort of personality that fits in with the way he batted," Boycott said.
"He used to bat freely, with lots of strokes. It's not in his nature to play carefully, steadily. I'm sure people have tried to say, 'Can you play a little more carefully? You are older now, you maybe don't pick the ball up quite as well or quickly, or you've still got lots of talent and use your experience.' You tell everybody all these things but it's very difficult to change people from what they are. And, it's too late now. I think he's just going to play a bit of IPL and then, sadly, fade away," he said.