Bangladesh v India, 1st Test, Chittangong January 16, 2010

Back injury rules out MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni has been ruled out of the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong because of a back strain. Virender Sehwag, his deputy, will lead India in the match scheduled to start on Sunday, and Dinesh Karthik will replace him as the keeper, the Indian team manager Arshad Ayub confirmed.

Dhoni suffered a back spasm during morning practice, retired to the dressing room and sent Virender Sehwag for the traditional captain's pre-match conference. However Sehwag, in his inimitable style, just offered: "He is fine, just taking a break and he is enjoying in the dressing room."

"The spasm continued and refused to go away," Ayub told Cricinfo. "Dhoni didn't want to take any chances and decided at the team-meeting in the evening that he wouldn't play the Test. Karthik will replace him." Karthik played two games as an opener in the recently concluded tri-series.

Dhoni had earlier suffered a back spasm during India's tour of New Zealand early last year and, as a result, had to sit out of the second Test in Napier, which ended in a draw. Sehwag led India in Napier in Dhoni's absence and will be captaining his country in a Test for the third time when he steps out tomorrow.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo