Monday, August 1, 2011

India hit by Sehwag blow

India are not sure when Virender Sehwag will join up with their squad in England, but the batsman will miss the first two Tests.

The 32-year-old missed the recent tour of the West Indies after having an operation on his shoulder, although it was originally thought he would be fit for the first Test against England.

But Indian officials say his recovery if taking longer than expected and they await further news on his progress. People looking at the India cricket betting will know what a big miss he'll be.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admits Sehwag will be a big loss for the tourists and coach Duncan Fletcher says they have heard that he "maybe over for the third and fourth Test".

The opener is expected to be replaced by Abhinav Mukund for the opening two Tests – at Lord’s and Trent Bridge – after impressing in the Caribbean.

Mukund scored a half-century (62) in the third Test against the Windies and is likely to be asked to open with the ever-impressive Gautam Gambhir.

Dhoni admits that India are a team that "relies on the openers quite a bit" and feels a good start will help them "capitalise with the middle order".

The India skipper added: "There aren't many cricketers in the world who can have the impact he (Sehwag) can. Of course we'll miss him, but the good thing for Indian cricket is it gives a chance to a youngster like Mukund."

The first of four Tests begins at Lord’s on Thursday July 21, with the two teams then doing battle at Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and The Oval, before one Twenty20 international and five ODIs.

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