In Attack of SehwagGaurav writes in defence of Virender Sehwag, who's just been axed from the Indian one-day team. A few rebuttals to some of his points:
1. Of course, Sehwag has been "figured out", but that happened much earlier. Any batsman who's around for more than two years is usually figured out, and everyone knows the score. It is what bowlers make of this and how batsmen counter their opponents' strategies. In this case, the tendencies (usually successful) to swish outside off-stump and the inconvenient defensive jab to the ball aimed into his left shoulder from wide of the right arm bowler's crease are well-known. South Africa, due to various bowling muddles, never got around to doing the second, but they were helped by Sehwag succumbing to the first. In Sehwag's case, the technical flaws have never been of as much concern as he usually did not let them mentally interfere with what he could do, namely give the ball a right hammering.
2. What's missing is the mental game. It was painful to watch him go at the ball like a robot with one set of control instructions. He had no B-plan. Worse, he didn't seem inclined to think of one. A mere middle-order switch wasn't going to do the trick.
3. Overall, he seemed a lazy cricketer. It's exactly the range of shots and talent on offer, which Gaurav speaks of, that warrants a punitive omission. The return of Ganguly and Zaheer actually confirmed the worth of such an action, which is fairly unprecedented in recent Indian cricket. Complacency can set in even if you think you guard against it. An interesting counterpoint is how Graeme Smith poked around even though he was having a worse time than Sehwag.
Bottomline: you can't always make hay while the sun shines. Sometimes, you have to stand shivering in the rain and look for the grass in the wet mud, instead of going back to the hut. (Actually, that's good advice for me too :-))