Sehwag, Zaheer Likely to Miss India's T20 Opener

Nottingham, June 5 (IANS): India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni indicated Friday that his star performers Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan are almost certain to miss the opening game against Bangladesh in the World Twenty20 here Saturday.

Opening batsman Sehwag and pace spearhead Zaheer are suffering from shoulder injuries. Both players missed the warm-up matches against New Zealand and Pakistan.    

"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 picked up the injury while playing for Mumbai Indians in the early part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in South Africa while Sehwag was injured after landing in England.   

Sehwag's injury forced Dhoni to gamble with Rohit Sharma as Gautam Gambhir's partner to open the innings. The 22-year-old Rohit didn't let his captain down and scored a brilliant 80 off 53 balls to script an emphatic win over arch-rivals Pakistan in a warm-up game.    

Rohit, in all probability, will open the innings with Gambhir again.   

Dhoni had words of praise for Rohit.   

"It's nice to see someone filling in so well," said Dhoni. "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."   

In Zaheer's absence, the pace attack will revolve around Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Rudra Pratap Singh and will be 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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