Tendulkar, Zaheer back to bolster Team India
Dashing opener Virender Sehwag's availability will be the bone of contention when the national selectors meet in Chennai on Saturday to select the Test squad for the upcoming tour of England.
Sachin Tendulkar, who opted out from the ongoing tour of the West Indies, along with Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir, who have both recovered from their injuries, will be back to bolster the squad.
But there hasn't yet been any concrete information about the status of Sehwag's injured shoulder for which he underwent a surgery in May.
Photographs: Getty Images
Image: Virender Sehwag
Sehwag may struggle to get fit for first Test
A source close to Sehwag said the opener may just struggle to get fit in time for the first Test as "he is
yet to get back the desired strength in his shoulders."
The first Test starts on July 21 at the Lord's.
India is scheduled to play four Tests and five ODIs during the tour.
"We have no information as of now on the status of Sehwag's injury. We will only get to know once we are in Chennai. We have heard that Gautam and Zaheer are fit," a selector, preferring anonymity, said on Friday.
There is speculation that selectors may just take a gamble by including Sehwag in the team and wait for him to get
fit by the time the second Test starts in Nottingham on July 29.
Asked about the poor show by Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund in the three innings so far in the West Indies, the selector retorted: "These two (Vijay and Mukund) are the best available replacements for Viru and Gauti. We don't have too many
options in opening. Only Parthiv can be another option."
Parthiv is a certainty as the second wicketkeeper.
Image: Virender Sehwag
Raina may get nod for middle order slot
If Sehwag fails to make it, then Vijay, by sheer the experience of having a longer stint in the team, may get another chance to prove his worth.
While the other places in the batting order are almost sealed after Raina's back-to-back 50s, the extra middle-order
batsman's slot may be a three-way battle between Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and senior-pro Yuvraj Singh.
While Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma have sealed their places after an impressive show in the West Indies, the young
Abhimanyu Mithun may have to battle it out with S Sreesanth for the fourth pacer's slot.
Image: Suresh Raina (right), Virender Sehwag (centre) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni during a practice session