Sourav Ganguly is backing Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan to make a comeback as Team India will get into Test-cricket mode soon after the seven-match ODI series against Australia is over. The national selectors are expected to pick the squad for the two-Test series against the West Indies on Tuesday. The first Test will be played in Kolkata from November 6 to 10 while the second will be in Mumbai from November 14 to 18.
In an interview to the Indian Express newspaper, former Indian captain Ganguly feels Sehwag and Zaheer should be recalled keeping in mind India's overseas Test commitments in the next 12 months or so. "They must be immediately brought back. Don't forget India will 13 Tests overseas and you need players with pedigree and experience in those conditions. And Sehwag and Zaheer have those qualities," said Ganguly.
Sehwag and Zaheer have done precious little to earn a recall but Ganguly feels that domestic cricket cannot be a yardstick to judge the veteran stars. "A player of Sehwag's class shouldn't be judged on his performance in domestic cricket and List A games. He should be judged by his Test record." Zaheer is better placed to win a recall considering the fact that he bagged seven wickets in four innings against West Indies A recently. Ganguly says: "Zaheer is still the best pace bowler India have. He can do so many things with the ball."
Post Sachin Tendulkar's retirement - the 40-year-old plays his 200th and farewell Test at Wankhede next month - Ganguly feels the No. 4 and No. 6 slots will be up for grabs. Saying India need specialists in those positions, Ganguly backs Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina in those positions, respectively.
Always a big Yuvraj Singh 'fan', Ganguly is categorical that India will need him for sure in the 2015 World Cup. "He is a match winner and don't write him off. Yuvraj must be persisted with," Ganguly said. The former Indian skipper also backed Bengal pacer Shami Ahmed for both formats of the game. "Shami is ready for Tests as well," said Ganguly, a massive compliment for a bowler who made a good impression in the Ranchi one-dayer with a career-best 3 for 42 against the Australians.