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Easily the most destructive batsman in every format of the game, Virender Sehwag will be missing the Twenty20 World Cup for the second year running. According to the reports the explosive Indian opener has suffered a shoulder injury, which has ruled him out of the ICC World Twenty20 beginning in the West Indies on April 30.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), preoccupied of late with the crisis in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has announced that Sehwag has been advised rest for three to four weeks and has been replaced by Tamil Nadu batsman Murali Vijay in the 15-man squad with Gautam Gambhir being made the vice-captain.
There was no mention, however, in the BCCI statement about the details of the latest injury sustained by Sehwag having played all 14 IPL-3 league matches for Delhi Daredevils.
Sehwag wasn’t at his best in the IPL-3 having scored only 356 runs at an average of 25. His last appearance in the IPL was on April 18 as his team failed to make it to the semifinals. Since he was deemed fit when included in the World Twenty20 squad the injury must have occurred during the course of the IPL-3.
Sehwag was unable to play for India in the ICC World Twenty20 last year because he had sustained a shoulder injury during the IPL-2 in South Africa, shortly before the World Twenty20 was due to begin.
He had accompanied the national the squad to England but was not able to play a game. His absence was not felt in the first round where India, the defending champions, thrashed their rivals convincingly but he was missed in the second round where India lost all three matches to get themselves were eliminated.
Murali Vijay, who has been in spectacular form in the IPL-3, has been chosen as Sehwag’s replacement for the upcoming event but the hugely talented youngster, who has also been India's back-up opener for Tests as well as ODIs in the recent past, could find it very hard to smash the bowlers at the international level.
There’s a feeling that Robin Uthappa, who played for India in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007, would have been a better choice than Vijay. But then Uthappa has been playing in the middle-order for the Royal Challengers Bangalore that might have prompted the selectors to go for a specialist opener in Vijay.
It doesn’t really matter if Vijay plays or Uthappa was included in his place because India would always be missing Sehwag because he possesses the ability to win the match on his own.
With Sachin Tendulkar unwilling to represent the country in the Twenty20 games India could well be short of experience once more and they might face the prospects of returning empty handed once more from the Caribbean.
Although the slow and low pitches in the West Indies are understood to be to the liking of the Indians but they might never be able forget the nightmare of the 2007 World Cup when they had failed to qualify for the second round.
Syed Khalid Mahmood has had passion for writing and sports since childhood. After having edited wall papers and magazines in his student life, he had started contributing to various international publications from an early age.
He joined the mainstream journalism in 1987 and his first book was published later the same year. After having studied at the famed institutions like Cadet College Petaro and Delhi College, he graduated in civil engineering from the prestigious NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, in 1986.
He has earned greater fame and recognition in the field of media being acclaimed as a leading international sports writer, having worked for some of the eminent newspapers like The Frontier Post and The News International besides a brief stint with The Mississauga News. He has also appeared regularly as an analyst on various television channels.
He has already authored 12 books viz Asian Glory (2012); Reflections (2010); Cricket Fever: A History of Pakistan-India Tours (2008); Mission Caribbean: A Guide to ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 (2007); World Cup 2003: Top of the Charts (2005); Spotlight on World Cup 2003 (2005); World Cup 1999: So Near Yet So Far (2000); Pakistan’s Sports Greats (1997); Pakistan: The Land of World Champions (1995); Pakistan’s Triumph in World Cup 1992 (1993); The Caribbean Challenge: A History of Pakistan-West Indies matches (1989) and Focus on World Cup (1987 and 1994).
He has had an active social life throughout. Having founded The Young Champs in 1984 he became the District Secretary of Rotary International District 3271 (Pakistan) in 2015-16. Besides being the Founder President of the NED Alumni Association, he is also the Vice President of the Delhi College & Schools Old Boys Association. He is also a member of The Petarian Association, Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Engineering Council and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.
His write-ups are carried by innumerable portals and websites across the world while his exclusive articles on the web, having grown in popularity, could be accessed on his blog at www.skmsports.com
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