Virender Sehwag, the former India opener, has thanked Anil Kumble for rejuvenating his Test career. After being dismissed from the India Test squad in early 2007, Sehwag lasted nearly a year without playing another Test match until being recalled in late 2007 under Kumble’s captaincy. After an 11-month absence from Test cricket, Sehwag was included to India’s team for the tour of Australia, where he played his first Test match in a year during the third match in Perth. Getting back into the Playing XI, on the other hand, was not simple. Sehwag had been given a duty by Kumble, and how well he completed it would decide his return to the squad.

“If you score 50 in this match, you will be selected for the match in Perth,” Sehwag recalls Kumble saying on Sports18’s “Home of Heroes” broadcast.

In the match against ACT Invitation XI, Sehwag got a century before lunch. Sehwag performed in Perth as promised, hitting 29 and 43 respectively in both innings and taking two wickets. Sehwag, on the other hand, confirmed his entrance during the following match in Adelaide. He hit 63 in the first innings and then a patient, match-saving 151 in the second to help India draw the Test.

“Those 60 runs were the most difficult I’d ever scored. I was playing to return Anil Bhai’s trust in me. I didn’t want people questioning him about why he brought me to Australia. I was concentrating on the striker’s end while conversing with the umpire and singing my favourite tunes. The stress has subsided, “Sehwag said.

After the Australia trip, Sehwag played seven Tests for Kumble, averaging over 62. Sehwag played his finest cricket under Kumble’s guidance, scoring a career-high 319 against South Africa and 201 not out against Sri Lanka. In reality, in Kumble’s last Test, Sehwag recorded his greatest bowling numbers in a Test of 5/104.”