'Sachin is 39 years and should be allowed to pick and choose'
Sachin Tendulkar will be missed by the Indian team during the upcoming limited-overs' series in Sri Lanka, but he has the right to pick and choose the series he wants to play, says opening batsman Virender Sehwag.
"Not only me, but the whole country misses Sachin when he is not in action. But one should realise that he is 39 years and he should be allowed to pick and choose which series he wants to go. He will certainly be available for the Test series against New Zealand," Sehwag told reporters, at the inauguration of Saba Karim-Genesis Pro-Cricket Centre, in Noida on Friday.
'When you get a strong team, it is easier to perform well'
Asked about skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's strength that enabled him to lead India to two World Cup victories -- 2007 Twenty20 and 50-over in 2011, he replied: "Dhoni got a very strong team. When you get a strong team, it is easier to perform well, just like Australia did at one point of time. We won the World Cup because we had a very strong team, which was ably backed by Dhoni's leadership."
Sehwag said he has no fitness concerns now and is all geared up for the Lanka tour, starting July 21.
'There is no fitness issue now'
"I played almost all the matches in Indian Premier League and there is no fitness issue now. The ODI tour of Sri Lanka will also help me in preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup, to be held there," he added.
Sehwag is also not unduly concerned by the fact that India's next generation of young batsmen did not do well in first class matches during the recent 'A' tour of the West Indies.
"Before I became a prominent member of the senior team I have also gone for 'A' tours. Some people get runs on this kind of tours and some don't. That does not mean that those who fail are not good enough.
"The best part is that you can make mistakes and learn from it, try to rectify in your domestic cricket and come back stronger," he said.
'You will never see a cricketer retiring from both Test and ODIs to play only T20'
Recently, Rahul Dravid had expressed his apprehension about the future of Test cricket 10 years down the line, but Sehwag insisted that the longest form of the game is not in danger.
"You ask any youngster and he would always tell you that he wants to be successful in Test cricket. You will see cricketers retiring from ODIs to prolong their Test career, but you will never see a cricketer retiring from both Test and ODIs to play only Twenty20," he said.
We generally play well in Sri Lanka
Sehwag was of the view that the two-and-a-half months' break after the Indian Premier League season five will hold the team in good stead in the upcoming limited-overs series in Sri Lanka.
"We generally play well in Sri Lanka. We have a good record there. We had a good rest (before the Sri Lanka series) so the team will be in top shape," Sehwag said after inaugurating the Manav Rachna Cricket Academy in Faridabad later in the day.
During the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, India will play a five-match ODI series between July 21 and August 4 followed by a one-off Twenty20 international on August 7.
Asked Sehwag for his views on former India coach Greg Chappell's recent statement that some team members were working against Rahul Dravid when he was the captain, he refused to be drawn into the controversy.
"I won't like to comment on the issue," Sehwag said.
Chappell, writing in Rahul Dravid -- Timeless Steel, a compilation of articles by different authors on the former cricketer, claimed that despite Dravid guiding the Indian team to a number of victories, his success was not enjoyed by some of his team-mates.