New Delhi, Feb 2:
Sidelined India batsman Virender Sehwag has ruled out the possibility of retiring from cricket and has expressed his insistence on playing for “atleast the next two years.”
Sehwag was dropped from the impending World Cup’s 30-member preliminary squad following a prolonged form slump. The right-handed batsman said he was still keen to play competitive cricket and has no imminent plans of quitting the game.
“I am still playing. And till the time I continue to play, I am not thinking about anything else. I will not consider quitting till I have the desire to play,” the right-handed batsman said on the sidelines of a press conference after being unveiled as a judge of cricket commentary for a radio channel here Monday.
“No. I am not thinking about retiring. Atleast not for the next two years. Am only thinking about my game at the moment.”
But he has made peace with the fact that he won’t be part of the World Cup team in 2015. Sehwag was among five integral players of the 2011-Cup winning team who were dropped from the 30-member preliminary squad for this year’s edition starting Feb 14.
He, however, wished luck to the team selected for defending the Cup saying it has got a strong chance of reaching the semi-finals.
“From there it depends on how the team plays in that particular match. The youngsters in the team are good. We have a good batting line-up.”
The 36-year-old also dismissed views that India’s trying Australia tour, in which they lost the four-match Test series 0-2 and failed to qualify for the final of the tri-series also involving England, would have any negative effect on the team’s title defence.
“No effect on current form would fall in the World Cup, specially for batsmen. The team would try to produce their best irrespective of the form.
In the 2003 Cup in South Africa, not many gave us a fighting chance of playing well, but we managed to reach the final.”
“We are still the defending champions. In cricket up and down in form happens. The players don’t worry about it too much. They focus on their performance because they need to play well even after the World Cup to remain in the team.”
The destructive batsman also said that the different nature of the pitches in Australia would play a part in determining the outcome of the tournament.
He noted that the new field restrictions of having to keep five players within the 30-yard circle would make life difficult for India’s part-time bowlers.
“Effects of different nature of wickets would be felt by teams. Earlier it was mandatory to keep only four fielders within the 30-yard circle. But now you need to keep five players. The new five-man rule would be a disadvantage for India. Due to this stipulation, the all-rounders’ role would be crucial,” he opined. IANS