Bikash Mohapatra reports from Northamptonshire
The much-anticipated return turned out to be a damp squib.
Coming into India's [ Images ] tour game against Northamptonshire, there was considerable hype about Virender Sehwag [ Images ]. The 32-year-old's return from injury seemed the only way to change India's fortunes, damaged following successive thrashings received at Lord's and Trent Bridge.
The two-day game at Northamptonshire is supposed to be a dress-rehearsal for the flamboyant batsman, ahead of the battle at Edgbaston, beginning Wednesday.
Sehwag's sojourn at the County Ground, however, lasted just seven overs. The opener was guilty of not offering a shot to a Dave Burton delivery that came in. The ball rapped the pads and the umpire did not take long to raise his finger.
Sehwag scored eight and his opening wicket partnership with Gambhir (18) yielded India only 15 runs.
The latter then combined with Abhinav Mukund to add another 34 runs for the second wicket before being trapped leg before by David Willey.
Gambhir is captaining the side even though MS Dhoni [ Images ] is part of the team.
The visitors went into the lunch break at 87 for two.
Mukund was batting on 42 and giving him company was VVS Laxman [ Images ], on 14, the two having put on 38 runs for the third wicket.
However, it is the failure of Gambhir and Sehwag that will rankle the Indian think tank the most.The match is a 100-over-a-side game with 90 scheduled to be bowled during the day. Each team can field 12 players.
Indians: Gautam Gambhir [ Images ] (capt), Virender Sehwag, Abhinav Mukund, mahendra Singh Dhoni, vvS Laxman, Suresh Raina [ Images ], Wriddhiman Saha, Sreesanth [ Images ], Zaheer Khan [ Images ], Amit Mishra [ Images ], Munaf Patel [ Images ] and Ishant Sharma [ Images ].
Northamptonshire: MB Loye, NJ O'Brien, RA White, RI Newton, DJG Sales (capt), Dj Willey, D Murphy, PM Best, D Burton, LM Daggett, L Evans and T Brett.