The wisdom of India's decision to take Virender Sehwag with them to the UK was in question last night after he was ruled out of the World Twenty20 due to a pre-existing shoulder injury. The free-hitting batsman was carrying the injury after his exploits in the Indian Premier League with the Delhi Daredevils last month. Sehwag had missed the opening game of India's title defence, and Rohit Sharma, shone in his absence, inspiring victory against Bangladesh. There was much debate already on what would India do once Sehwag became fit.
That situation did not arise as he had a brief net yesterday morning before the decision was made for him to pull out. He will return home to undergo surgery, and Dinesh Karthik, the wicket-keeper batsman, has been summoned as his replacement. Mahendra Dhoni's side return to the crease to face Ireland today, who are riding high after qualifying for the second phase, at Trent Bridge this evening. Ireland's rapidly-improving team of professionals and semi-professionals will not be totally alien to Indian cricket fans.
They were thrust into the limelight first when they beat Pakistan, then Bangladesh, at the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. As a consequence, two of their players, Niall O'Brien and Boyd Rankin, were snapped up by the Indian Cricket League. O'Brien was the match-winner again as they secured their advance to the Super Eight here by beating Bangladesh. His knock of 40 laid the platform for his brother Kevin to score the winning runs.
The wicket-keeper batsman expects to be fit to face India following the ankle injury he sustained against Bangladesh. And he said: "Playing against the world champions is obviously going to be a difficult game but if you can't get up and enjoy a game against the world champions who can you get up for?" firstname.lastname@example.org