New Delhi: MS Dhoni had reportedly requested Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan to sit out of India's World Twenty20 match against England to test the team's bench strength, but if reports are to be believed, it hasn't gone down too well with Sehwag.
As reported by Firstpost.com, Sehwag is showing signs of being annoyed at his omission by distancing himself from the team.
"After warming-up with the team, he [Sehwag] sat in the last row of the team tent at the Colts Cricket Club in Colombo. He didn't move, he did not put on the pads either and was virtually a spectator for most part," a report on Firstpost said.
Leading up to the England game, Dhoni had confirmed that there are no injury issues with Sehwag, so that is unlikely to be the cause for him giving the nets a miss, Firstpost reported. Plus, he isn't anywhere near his top form of late, which makes his decision to miss practice even more questionable.
Irfan Pathan was pushed up as an opener against England in the absence of Sehwag, with skipper MS Dhoni saying that the allrounder's efficiency to play the horizontal-bat shots helped India counter England's tactics to bounce India out.
India play Australia on September 28, Pakistan on September 30 and South Africa on October 2, all teams that are capable to dig it in short and trouble India. And if Dhoni's reasoning to open with Pathan is anything to go by, Sehwag may have to sit out for at least India's first Super Eights encounter.
Opening with Irfan also lends more balance to the Indian line-up and allows Dhoni to play five bowlers without giving up on a batting option in the middle order.
However, it has to be admitted that an in-form Virender Sehwag is always the first name to be ticked on the team sheet, especially for big matches. But it seems his state of mind is causing him to lose focus and thereby his place in the team.