Colombo: Virender Sehwag's prolonged form slump has become a cause of concern but the struggling opener on Thursday received the backing of another swashbuckler Sanath Jayasuriya, who said India needed an "impact player" like him to win matches.
"I find it difficult to understand why people criticise a match-winner like Sehwag. He is an impact player. Sehwag will not score 80 or 100 everyday but whenever he scores at least 70 at the top of the order, be rest assured that India will win matches more often than not," Jayasuriya said in an exclusive interview here.
Sehwag is just a couple of weeks shy of his 34th birthday, but Jayasuriya doesn't agree that age is catching up with the 'Nawab of Najafgarh', whose game depends a lot on hand-eye co-ordination.
"I still don't know why a few failures always raise this question of age being a factor. A couple of failures don't suddenly make you old. If one is fit and motivated, age is not a factor," the 43-year-old former Sri Lanka captain stated.
As the discussion veered towards Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy, Jayasuriya, a veteran of 110 Tests and 445 ODIs, felt he should "learn from his mistakes".
"Captaincy is always a learning process. Just because Dhoni has lost eight Test matches doesn't make him a bad captain overnight.
"Yes, there has been criticism about his captaincy. I believe everyone makes mistakes and learns from them. Dhoni should also take the criticism in his stride and try to improve. If you know exactly where you went wrong, it helps you in improving your game," said Jayasuriya.
The Indian team's bowling has been under the scanner and Jayasuriya said that in the T20 format "one bowler would always go for some runs but one needs to ensure that all bowlers don't get hit simultaneously".