One of the most destructive batsmen in the game, Virender Sehwag's international looks over and the Delhi batsman knows it.
On Tuesday (November 18), Sehwag opted out of the Deodhar Trophy (one-day tournament) as he was not willing to block a promising youngster's entry into the North Zone team.
"Today, at the start of the selection committee meeting, the chairman Vikram Rathour intimated us that Viru (Sehwag) has specifically told him that he doesn't want to play Deodhar Trophy," a member of the North Zone selection committee told PTI yesterday.
Sehwag's Delhi team-mate Gautam Gambhir too pulled out but he did not give any reason. "He (Sehwag) has insisted that some of the promising juniors may be picked. Gauti (Gambhir) has also decided against playing but I have no clue about why he pulled out," the selector said.
With the youngsters doing so well in the national team and the opening slot sealed in the limited overs format, there is very little chance of a comeback for the Delhi duo. Sehwag's decision is commendable considering that he is thinking of the future of other youngsters from the north.
With the ICC World Cup 2015 less than 100 days away and Indian opening combination almost decided with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and also Ajinkya Rahane being the option, Sehwag is unlikely to turn up in India colours again.
Sehwag is already 36 years old. And his form is not anything of the old, both in the longer and shorter formats. Both age and form are the factors for his extended stay out of the national team.
Gambhir is 33 and he might still fancy his chances of returning to the Test squad if the regular openers Shikhar and Murali Vijay fail consistently in Australia. However, the selectors have a young back-up in KL Rahul, 22.
The left-hander has to score heavily in the Ranji Trophy this season to be considered again for India selection.
Once a celebrated opening pair in international cricket, we might have seen the end of the Gambhir-Sehwag partnership.
While there are still plenty of fans rooting for Sehwag to make a return to international arena and smash the bowlers, those supporters will have to definitely give up hopes with the man himself doubting his ability.
Sehwag, the only Indian with 2 triple hundreds (and also a 293) in Tests to go with a double century in ODIs, redefined batting. He was always a joy to watch at the top of the order.
His international journey seems to have ended at 104 Tests, 251 ODIs and 19 T20Is. Sehwag has not played for India since March, 2013.
The only place he will be seen wielding his willow now, is in the domestic circuit. And to see his big hits, wait for the Indian Premier League (IPL) next April, when he pads up for Kings XI Punjab.