“If I had been the captain or a selector, I would have surely picked Rohit Sharma for the 2011 World Cup…”: Virender Sehwag

In the annals of cricket history, decisions often leave fans pondering ‘what if.’ Legendary Indian opener Virender Sehwag recently opened up about one moment when he expressed his desire to have Rohit Sharma in the 2011 World Cup squad. This revelation shed light on what could have been for Rohit, who was left out of the 15-man roster for the tournament.

The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup was a milestone event for Indian cricket, culminating in a glorious victory. However, it might surprise many that Rohit Sharma, the swashbuckling batsman who now holds a plethora of records, missed out on this monumental journey. Instead, players like Suresh Raina and Yusuf Pathan were chosen ahead of him. Rohit, who was on the cusp of announcing himself as a force to be reckoned with, was left gutted.

Virender Sehwag, known for his fearless approach to the game, revealed his perspective on Rohit’s omission from the 2011 World Cup squad. In a recent interview, he expressed his strong belief in Rohit’s potential. Sehwag remarked that had he been a captain or selector, then he would have undoubtedly picked Rohit for the tournament. However, Sehwag acknowledged that Rohit was a different player back then, still in the early stages of his career.

Sehwag explained, “If I had been the captain or a selector, I would have picked him for the 2011 World Cup. But at that time, he was not the Rohit Sharma that he is right now. He was a bit young, and at the end of the day, it is the decision of the captain and selectors as to the team balance they want.”

Sehwag highlighted that the captain and selectors make choices based on various factors, including team balance. It’s important to note that the team management’s decision against including Rohit was not necessarily a lack of faith in his talent but rather a strategic choice.

The omission from the 2011 World Cup could have been a turning point in Rohit’s career. Sehwag suggested that this snub might have been the catalyst that motivated him to strive for consistency. Rohit’s journey from that setback to becoming one of the most prolific batsmen in the world is a testament to his resilience and determination.

Former Indian Opener added, “Maybe that snub motivated him to become more consistent, and he realized that he had to score so many runs that he would never miss a World Cup again. You can only select 15 players for a World Cup, and at that point, Yusuf Pathan had a couple of crucial innings just before the tournament, that is, what maybe worked in his favour, and Rohit Sharma had to be left out.”

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Reflecting on Rohit’s spectacular performance in a recent match against Afghanistan, Sehwag marvelled at how Rohit batted. Scoring 131 off just 84 balls, Rohit once again displayed his class. Sehwag noted that Rohit’s innings sent a clear message: he is a run-scoring machine. Even after reaching his century, he didn’t stop and continued to score. With three double centuries to his name already, Rohit has consistently raised the bar for batters worldwide.

Sehwag concluded, “Rohit Sharma gave a clear message with his innings that score big hundreds; even today, he scored 30 more runs after getting to his hundred and has already scored three double centuries. So, it gives the opposition a clear message that he will not spare you if he settles at the crease for a long time. He mathematically missed the double century even today (Laughs).”

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