Sehwag out of early Tests
Opener's recovery taking longer than expected
Last Updated: 15/07/11 9:17pm
Sehwag: Shoulder injury to keep him out of first two Tests
Opening batsman Virender Sehwag is set to miss at least the first two Tests of the npower series against England.
India coach Duncan Fletcher admitted there is still uncertainty over when the explosive right-hander will be available.
"We've heard that he'll be over here for maybe the third and fourth Test, so we're crossing our fingers for that," Fletcher told Cricinfo.
Sehwag skipped the latter stages of the Indian Premier League as well as India's tour to the West Indies after undergo surgery on his right shoulder.
He was initially expected to be fit for the first Test against England starting at Lord's next Thursday, but his recovery is taking longer than expected.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admits Sehwag will be a big loss, but backed Abhinav Mukund - who opened with Murali Vijay during the Windies Test series - to form an effective partnership with Gautam Gambhir at the top of the order.
"We are a side that relies on our openers quite a bit," Dhoni said. "If we get off to a good start then we can really capitalise with the middle order we have.
"As far as Virender Sehwag is concerned, there aren't many cricketers in the world who can have the impact he can. Of course we'll miss him, but the good thing for Indian cricket is it gives a chance to a youngster like Mukund who can have a look at international cricket and see what areas he needs to improve. Viru will be back at some point, but it's good to have Gautam back as well."