Sehwag and Khan ‘must immediately be brought back into the Test side’, says Sourav Ganguly

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“I assure you that both Sehwag and Zaheer are not yet finished”

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has announced that he believes opening batsman Virender Sehwag and veteran left-arm pace bowler Zaheer Khan “must immediately be brought back into the Test side”.

Ganguly noted that India would need players of Sehwag and Khan’s quality due to all the overseas series they have scheduled next year.

“They [Sehwag and Zaheer] must immediately be brought back into the Test side,” Ganguly told theIndian Express. “Don’t forget India will be playing 13 Tests overseas in the next one year or so. You need players with pedigree and experience in those conditions. And Sehwag and Zaheer have those qualities.

“Zaheer still is the best pace bowler India have. He can do so many things with the ball. I assure you that both Sehwag and Zaheer are not yet finished.”

Ganguly added that Sehwag should not be “judged” on his previous performances, but “by his Test record” instead.

“A player of Sehwag’s class shouldn’t be judged on his performance in domestic cricket and List A games,” he said. “He should be judged by his Test record.”

With the legendary Sachin Tendulkar set to announce his retirement after his 200th Test match, which will come against the West Indies next month, Ganguly believes Rohit Sharma is the best man to replace him at the number four spot, while Suresh Raina could cement his place at the number six spot.

“Yes, a couple of places would be up for grabs, No. 4 and No. 6,” Ganguly said. “You need a specialist batsman at No.6 in overseas conditions. And my choices are Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina respectively. They have the game and are the best options available.”

Ganguly noted that pace bowler Mohammed Shami, who recently took three wickets against Australia in the fourth ODI in Ranchi, is also ready to play Test cricket.

“Not only limited-overs cricket, Shami is ready for Tests as well,” the former Indian captain said. “He should be there in the Test side. He has got the pace, has the ability to move the ball, can bowl yorkers and has a deceptive bouncer that troubles batsmen.”

The 41-year-old finished off by saying that all-rounder Yuvraj Singh will play a key role for India in the 2015 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“India need Yuvraj in the next World Cup,” Ganguly said. “He’s a match-winner, so don’t write him off after just a couple of failures [in the Australia ODIs]. He got two good deliveries. Yuvraj must be persisted with.”

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