Don't force players to play, I played the World Cup with injuries - shewag


Virender Sehwag, the India opener, has said the only way to prevent fast bowlers from picking up injuries is by giving them regular breaks. India are currently without their leading fast bowler, Zaheer Khan, who is still recovering from ankle surgery. They have included 24-year-old Umesh Yadav and 22-year-old Varun Aaron in the Test squad to play West Indies, after the pair impressed with their pace in the recent one-day series against England.

"It's important that the team management ensures they don't play too many matches," Sehwag told television channel Aaj Tak. "Fast bowlers are prone to injuries and when they get injured their pace goes. Besides, when you are injured, your comeback becomes very difficult."

Sehwag was picked in the squad for the first Test squad against West Indies after recovering from a shoulder injury for which he had surgery towards the end of the IPL. He was rushed back to play the last two Tests of India's disastrous series in England earlier this year, but admitted his return was a mistake. "I knew I was needed. I tried my best but I realised I hurried my comeback in England. It was a difficult time in England for the whole team... so many injuries."

India's selectors have rested players for various series and have had distinct teams for Test and limited-overs games in the recent past. Sehwag said a player could therefore ask to be rested if they needed a break. "A cricketer's passion is to play for the country. If somebody says he's tired, he can talk to the team management. [MS] Dhoni was not given rest on his request, because there were too many injuries in the team."

He also rejected the notion that players now prefer the IPL to Test cricket and said the whole club versus country debate was a silly one. "Tell me one cricketer who has said that? It's a perception that the media and ex-cricketers have. Every youngster dreams of playing Tests. There is not a single Indian or for that matter international cricketer who has taken retirement from Tests and ODIs to play IPL.

"I played the World Cup with injuries, Sachin played when he had a fractured toe or other injuries. People are not aware of this."

Sehwag also felt the future of Indian cricket looks bright given the number of young players who are breaking into the side such as Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma. "When the seniors retire, I have full faith in these talented youngsters taking their place. There may be a problem for a year or two, but Indian cricket is in safe hands."

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Wow we are waiting to watch next series. Great cricket is most favourite game.

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