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India need Virender Sehwag for World Cup, suggests Brett Lee

NEW DELHI: Former Australian pacer Brett Leethinks the axed Virender Sehwag needs to be in India’s mix of things for the team to make an impact on the bouncy surfaces of Australia in the next World Cup.

With MS Dhoni’s team struggling away from home, Lee said, “I love watching Viru in action. He is a fantastic batsman and loves batting on a pitches with a bit of bounce. The upper cut is one of his favourite strokes and Australia is one place you can play it with ease.”

On the travails of another Delhi cricketer, Ishant Sharma, Lee said, “I am big fan of Ishant. He is a great guy and a wonderful player. But there are a few simple things like taking wickets and bowling fast. If he is not doing that he should move out. India need to pick a squad that they think is suited for New Zealand and Australia. If they can get Ishant’s confidence back and stick with him, you never know.”

On what it takes for a batsman to face up to hostile pace bowling, Lee told TOI, “You definitely need to a have a big heart. Everyone gets scared while playing. Even the world’s greatest batsmen don’t relish facing pace bowling. People get frightened.”

Lee can’t stop gushing about Michael Clarke’s fantastic, unbeaten 161 at the Newlands in Cape Town, where the Australian skipper went through a torrid spell from Morne Morkel but lived to script a memorable knock. “There is nothing better that to see someone like (Morne) Morkel running in and bowling at 150 kmph. Clarke was ducking and weaving, fighting for his life and his team. But he managed to survive that session and went on to get a big score.”

Asked who else he thinks would have handled a test of pace like Clarke did, Lee said, “It certainly wouldn’t have been me! I would have been running at the bowler and probably had my stumps knocked back. It takes a special player to survive a spell like Dale Steyn bowled at Port Elizabeth.”

Lee still looks fit as a fiddle and played in the recent Big Bash League, but the 76-Test veteran went unsold during IPL 7 auctions.

“I am no Benjamin Button,” Lee said with a big smile on his face. “I have made more comebacks that Rambo and I am not quite surprised at what happened at the auction.”

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