The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 19 , 2014
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Don’t write me off yet, urges Viru

New Delhi: Out-of-favour Virender Sehwag reckons that he still has two-three years of competitive cricket left in him and a good showing for the Kings XI Punjab in IPL-7 will present a strong case for his return to the Indian team.

“Do not write me off yet… I have 2-3 years of competitive cricket left in me before thinking of quitting the game. I am looking forward to playing for Kings XI Punjab and help them win the title this time,” Sehwag, who was bought for Rs 3.2 crore by the Punjab franchise, said on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old opener, in his prime, used to score heavily across the world but, of late, his form has deserted him and he looks a pale shadow of his former self.

His wretched run with the bat has even made his previous IPL employer, Delhi DareDevils, release him before the IPL-7 auctions.

Asked about his future and next year’s ICC 50-over cricket World Cup, Sehwag said: “I am working on my fitness and batting skills. It’s about improving my concentration level and picking the bowler's length early. I am putting in a lot of hours in practice.”

“May be I can play 2015 World Cup, may be not. I am enjoying my game at the moment whether playing at the domestic level, for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. The important part is I am playing the game and I am happy with it,” he said.

Kings XI Punjab have strong batting and bowling line-up in George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mitchell Jonhson. The Punjab franchise made use of their purse at the players’ auction smartly and got hold of some of the finest stars of world cricket at the moment.

Sehwag said their first goal would be to qualify for the play-offs.

“We have a very good team. Our first aim will be to qualify for the play-offs. The ultimate goal is to bring home the Cup.”

Reflecting upon his role in the side, Sehwag said: “My role has not changed. My job would be to perform to my potential for the franchise. I would be spending a lot of time with young players and sharing my experiences with them.”

“I was doing this when I was part of the Indian cricket team. I was guiding the youngsters and I would be doing the same thing here.”

Sehwag also threw his weight behind the under-fire Indian cricketers.