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Wanted To Quit ODIs Before 2011 WC; Sachin Stopped Me: Sehwag

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By: Navneet Mundhra
Updated: June 1, 2022 18:15
Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag formed a formidable opening partnership in ODIs
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BENGALURU: Former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag on Wednesday revealed that he wanted to retire from One Day Internationals (ODIs) during the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia in 2007-08. Australia, India and Sri Lanka participated in the three-nation tournament and ultimately India defeated the hosts in the finals to win the championship.

Sehwag’s scores in the five matches he played were 6, 33, 11, 14 and 17 after which he was dropped from the playing XI.

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“In 2008, when we were in Australia, this question (of retirement) came to my mind. I had made a comeback in the Test series and scored a 150. In the ODIs, I couldn’t score that much in three-four attempts. So, MS Dhoni dropped me from the playing XI. Then the thought of quitting ODI cricket came to my mind. I thought I will continue playing only Test cricket,” the flamboyant batter disclosed.

In the controversial Test series Down Under in 2007-08, Sehwag had returned to the Test team after a hiatus of one year and cracked 63 & 151 at Adelaide.

The swashbuckling batsman, who played 104 Tests and 251 ODIs for India, further stated that it was Sachin Tendulkar, his opening partner in many ODIs, who dissuaded him from retiring from the format. “Sachin Tendulkar stopped me at that time. He said ‘This is a bad phase of your life. Just wait, go back home after this tour, think hard and then decide what to do next’. Luckily, I didn’t announce my retirement at that time,” he said.

After a poor showing in Commonwealth Bank Series, Sehwag made a resounding comeback in the ODIs later that year (2008) as he took Pakistani bowlers to the cleaners in the Kitply Cup match played at Mirpur and walloped 89 off just 76 balls. His whirlwind innings won him the Man-of-the-Match.

Though the talks of his alleged rift with the then captain MS Dhoni kept circulating in the media, he went on to play World Cup 2011 for India and was instrumental in his team winning the tournament after 28 years.

Overall, Sehwag scored 8586 Test and 8273 ODI runs in his international career including 38 hundreds across formats. He’s one among the only four batsmen to smash two triple centuries in their Test career.

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