Sehwag likely to miss limited-overs leg
It is more than likely that Virender Sehwag has played his last innings on the England tour. It is understood that Sehwag has not completely recovered from the shoulder surgery he underwent immediately after the IPL in May. Sehwag, who struggled to make any impact in the two Tests matches he played, had a quiet word with the two on-tour national selectors - Narendra Hirwani and Surendra Bhave - and the team management, and the decision was then conveyed to the BCCI top brass. In the end Sehwag got the permission.
"The shoulder injury has not completely healed. He will return after the Test series," a BCCI source told ESPNcricinfo. In addition to the shoulder injury, Sehwag has also been suffering from hearing problems in his left ear, after being exposed to a loud sound on July 24, according to the note sent by the National Cricket Academy physiotherapist Nitin Patel to the tour physio Ashish Kaushik when the opener joined the squad for the tour match in Northampton. "Sehwag has some visual and balancing problems, which persist," the source added.
Interestingly, after the first day's play at The Oval, Anirudh Chaudhary, Indian manager for the Test leg, categorically denied the rumours that Sehwag had asked the team management if he could head back home.
It would be difficult to surmise if the injury played a role in Sehwag's poor tour which began with a king pair at Edgbaston. He followed that up by lasting just five deliveries in the first innings of the final Test before being bowled through the gate by a Graeme Swann offbreak in the second innings. He made 41 runs in four innings.
Embarrassingly for the BCCI, this is the second case of a half-fit Indian player being rushed in for this important tour. Earlier Zaheer Khan, India's strike bowler, was ruled out of the series at the halfway stage, due to a "recurring hamstring injury and right-ankle impingement" according to the statement issued on August 7 by the team manager. Zaheer had originally picked up the ankle injury during the IPL and, both he and Sehwag had been rested for the subsequent Caribbean tour.
When the selectors named the squad for the Test leg of the England tour in early July, they announced a 17-member party, stating that Sehwag would join the tour a fortnight later as he was been given extra time to recover completely from the shoulder surgery. Unfortunately for the BCCI, Sehwag did not recover as expected and someone would have to answer some tough questions.
Meanwhile the selectors have not yet name Sehwag's replacement and are likely to make the announcement early next week.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo