Former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag recalled how legendary spinner Anil Kumble was able to revive his test career after being dropped in 2007.
Virender Sehwag, who has a strike rate of 75+ in Test cricket, never imagined he would be dropped from the Indian Test team. But after playing his 52nd Test in January 2007, Sehwag played his 53rd after a year in Australia.
Virender Sehwag reveals how Kumble revived his Test Career
When the Monkeygate incident occurred, India was 0-2 down in the four-match Test series against Australia. After crushing defeats in Melbourne and Sydney, Anil Kumble’s team was always playing catch-up against the strong Aussies. For the first two games, Virender Sehwag, one of India’s most prolific openers, was on the bench.
Sehwag was dropped after the World Cup 2007 disaster, despite scoring a triple century only four years prior. He went a year without playing a Test match after January 2007. He had the support of the skipper at this critical time.
“If you score 50 in this game, you’ll be selected for the match in Perth,” Kumble told Sehwag.
In Perth, where India made history by defeating Australia by 72 runs, he hit a century. However, Sehwag’s best innings (151) came in the last Test match in Adelaide, when he helped India keep the match alive. One thing is certain: after Ganguly, who helped him in the early stages of his career, Kumble aided in his comeback.
Kumble made a promise to Sehwag after the trip.
“As long as I am the Test team captain, you will not be dropped from the side,” Kumble said.
Kumble had made the promise, according to Sehwag. “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,” Sehwag said.
“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”, Sehwag added.