Sehwag, Zaheer in doubt for T20 opener

Published: Friday, June 5, 2009, 12:44 [IST]
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Sehwag, Zaheer may miss T20 opener

London: India's explosive opener Virender Sehwag and pace star Zaheer Khan will miss India's opening game against Bangaldesh on Saturday.

Both Zaheer and Sehwag suffer from shoulder injuries and were kept out from the two warm-up matches against New Zealand and Pakistan ahead of the tournament.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was reluctant to confirm if the duo will play against Bangladesh, but indicated the team was prepared to take the field without the seasoned players.

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"I am not sure about Viru (Sehwag) and even though Zaheer has started bowling, it may be too early to risk him," said Dhoni.

"They are important players for us, but we are trying to adjust without them.

Zaheer had shoulder injury while fielding in the early stages of the recent Indian Premier League in South Africa and was not fit enough to take the field for the Mumbai Indians.

Sehwag suffered injury after the team's arrival in England, forcing Dhoni to gamble with 22-year-old Rohit Sharma at the top of the order with Gautam Gambhir.

Rohit who replaced Sehwag in the warm-up game against Pakistan at the Oval, scored a superb 80 off 53 balls which helped India to crush Pakistan by nine wickets.

Captain Dhoni who was impressed by Rohit Sharma's performaces said that the problem of plenty was a blessing for the team.

"It's nice to see someone filling in so well," said the Indian captain. "When Viru got injured, Rohit said he was keen to open and showed his immense talent in the game against Pakistan.

"I hope he continues in the same way during the tournament."

India's bowling in Zaheer's absence is likely to revolve around the seam attack of Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Rudra Pratap Singh, backed by spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha.

"We have a good balance in the squad and this gives me a lot of confidence," said Dhoni.


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