Sehwag set to make ODI return

Ishant, Pathan likely to be axed

Virender Sehwag

Sehwag has been out of international cricket owing to a shoulder injury that required surgery and the opener missed both the Twenty20 World Cup in England and Champions Trophy in South Africa.

The right-hander, however, is set to make a comeback to the national team when Krishnamachari Srikkanth and his colleagues in the senior selection committee meet.

Baroda all-rounder Pathan, meanwhile, is almost certain to be dropped, though there are doubts about the availability of Yuvraj Singh, who missed the Champions Trophy with a finger injury.

The BCCI is yet to receive the details of his fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore but should be cleared fit -- which looks a little doubtful -- he will automatically return to the squad.

The selectors will also debate on whether to persist with Rahul Dravid, who made a comeback to the 50-over format after a two-year hibernation. According to sources, the selectors may drop Delhi paceman Ishant Sharma, bringing in Uttar Pradesh pacer Sudeep Tyagi in his place.

Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who is recovering from a shoulder surgery, has not proved himself in a match situation and hence is said to have been ruled out of contention.

Apart from Tyagi, Abhishek Nayar is also expected to get the selectors’ nod for the ODIs in Vadodara (Oct 25) and Nagpur (Oct 28). The selection committee, in all probability, would suggest rotating the bowlers. “We always go by the observations of the core group of coaches for the national team and we believe we have young, talented players in our four-graded contracted system,” said a selector.

“We also believe that we need to rotate players in the bowling department. Accordingly, the seniors are likely to retain their spots, while the second spinner and the medium-pacers in the team are to be rotated for the seven matches,” he added.
In the spin department, Harbhajan Singh would remain the frontline tweaker, while Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha would play in turns in the seven-match series. The Australians play the seventh and final tie at Mumbai on November 11.

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