Virender Sehwag reveals Kumble’s role in career revival: As long as I am Test captain, you won’t be dropped

Former India batsmen and one of the best openers to have played for India, Virender Sehwag revealed how former Test captain Anil Kumble revived his career in the longest format of the game. Speaking to Sports18, Sehwag talked about the 2007-08 Australia tour, where an adamant Anil Kumble took the swashbuckling right hander to the tour.

Sehwag had a stellar Test career playing just over a hundred matches and scoring over 8500 runs. However, he wasn’t in the plans of the Indian Test team for Australia and for that matter, did not play the first two matches either.
Sehwag did not play long format for almost a year between 2007-08 and admits that the situation really hurt him at the time.

“Suddenly, I realised I was not part of the Test side; it hurt,” admits Sehwag on the upcoming episode of Home of Heroes on Sports18.

“I would have ended with 10,000+ Test runs had I not been dropped for that period,” he added.
Sehwag revealed some stories about the tour and said that ahead of the third Test in Perth, captain Anil Kumble asked him to score a half century in the practice game.

“Score a 50 in this match, and you will be picked for the match in Perth,” Sehwag said.

Sehwag’s inclusion had an immediate impact and India won the Test. The opener, though, did not score a half century but scored at a brisk pace in the second innings to give India a good start.

It was the fourth game where Sehwag really announced his arrival and raked up important runs in the Adelaide Test. A 63 in the first innings, followed by a match-saving 151 cemented his place in the team.

“Those 60 runs were the toughest I scored in my life. I was playing to repay the faith Anil Bhai put in me,” Sehwag recalled. “I did not want anyone to question him for bringing me to Australia.”

“I was focused on the striker’s end; on the other end, I spoke to the umpire, humming my favourite songs. The pressure was gone,” Sehwag reminisced about his 151 that kept Australia away from winning the last Test.

After the tour, Kumble promised Sehwag that till the time he was the Indian captain, he would not be dropped again.

“As long as I am the Test team captain, you will not be dropped from the side,” Sehwag remembered Kumble’s words.

“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.

The Nawab of Najafgarh played seven Tests under Kumble, averaging over 62 after the Australia tour.

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