NEW DELHI: He hasn't been in the best of form of late and Virender Sehwag's body language during his first day with the Delhi Ranji Trophy squad said it all.
The 'Nawab of Najafgarh' looked pretty rusty during his first session at the state team's nets where not only seasoned pros like Ashish Nehra and Ishant Sharma but also some of the net bowlers troubled him with pace and bounce.
On November 4, 2012, Sehwag will complete two years in Test cricket without a century with his last (173) coming against New Zealand on November 4, 2010 in Ahmedabad.
There are times when a player who is not middling the ball well in the nets goes onto play a good innings in match situations but there are more reasons to worry when a net bowler unsettles a world-class batsman with a bouncer.
Virat Kohli might feel that "a good bouncer is a good bouncer" but the way the veteran played the ball gave an ample indication about the form that he is in right now.
The delivery took off from short of good length area and Sehwag took his eyes off the ball and he could have been knocked over but somehow managed to keep the ball away.
The crafty Nehra has been bowling with a good rhythm at the nets and not for once did the Delhi skipper look like hitting a confident shot against the bowler. Nor was he confident while taking on Ishant.
Although he occasionally cracked a joke with seniors like Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia, but the veteran of 98 Tests wore a grumpy look for the better part of the session.
The opening Ranji Trophy game against Uttar Pradesh from November 2-5 at Ghaziabad will be an acid test for the 34-year-old who needs to fire badly against England if India aim to win the series 4-0.
Gautam Gambhir had recently said that "We (he and Sehwag) are still the best opening pair in the country" but probably it's time when words are put into action.