‘Sehwag still a match-winner’
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Swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag might have lost faith with the national selectors, who dropped him from the third Test against Australia last week—the first time he has been left out in over five years. And in many have already predicted this axing to be the death knell for the Delhi dasher's international career. But there are some who still haven't lost faith in the new bespectacled Sehwag's abilities and skills to win matches single-handedly.
Starting with the man who claims to have discovered him and pushed for his selection vigorously during the 33-year-old's early days.
In fact, former BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele, never one to hold back his words, insists that the discarded superstar should not only be recalled but made an integral part of the Indian team in all three formats of the game.
"He is a batsman who has scored two triple hundreds and one near triple hundred in Test cricket. He's a match-winner and according to me Sehwag should be in the Indian team in all three forms of the game as long as he is fit and available," said Lele, at the CCI, while delivering the keynote address of the "Legends Club" on the 98th birth anniversary of former captain Vijay Hazare.
The outspoken former official claimed how he had played a role in Sehwag getting a firm foothold in the Indian team through the ODI format early on in Sehwag's career.
"Selector Madan Lal used to bring up Sehwag's name consistently in selection committee meetings chaired by Chandu Borde as the player used to score 40-50 regularly batting at 7 or 8 in domestic matches and after a lot of persuasion was included in the squad of 15 in the ODI series against Zimbabwe (December, 2000)," Lele recalled.
"When captain Sourav Ganguly was banned from the Rajkot game for India due to over-rate penalty, Madan asked me to try and convince Borde to give Sehwag a chance. I persuaded Borde to include him in the XI and the latter agreed only on the condition that I take up the entire responsibility by saying he could not be contacted and I agreed. And Sehwag is still playing," said Lele.