The Indian team would have been preparing for the worst but would still be hit by this news. Virender Sehwag, who was expected to miss the first Test against England because of a non-recovery from his shoulder injury, may not join the side for the second game either.
India begin their tour of England with a warm-up game against Somerset and will follow it up with the first Test match from July 21 at Lord’s.
Sehwag had aggravated his shoulder injury during the Indian Premier League this season and had missed the tour of West Indies to recuperate from his long-standing problem. He was expected to get fit in time for the tour of England but it had earlier been said that he would have to miss at least one game.
Now, according to fuzzy reports – because there is no official clarity about the status of his injury – there is a good chance that Sehwag will miss the second Test match as well.
Even the coach of the Indian team, Duncan Fletcher, seemed clueless. He said, “We've heard that he'll be over here for maybe the third and fourth Test, so we're crossing our fingers for that," Hah!
Sehwag’s absence is a boon for Abhinav Mukund though, who will now get a chance to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir for the first time. Gambhir also returns to the side from an injury that had kept him out of the tour of the West Indies and often spoken about how Sehwag has been an ideal foil – a stress-buster. What India will need is, however, for Gambhir to adapt to a new opening partner in Mukund and afford India some decent starts.
If the captain MS Dhoni was to be believed, the pair will have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. “We are a side that relies on our openers quite a bit. If we get off to a good start then we can really capitalise with the middle order we have,” he said.