Sehwag to join England tour for final two tests

Virender Sehwag will join his Indian team mates on Wednesday, boosting the tourists' hopes of fielding...

Indian batsman Virender Sehwag. Picture: SAPA

Virender Sehwag will join his Indian team mates on Wednesday, boosting the tourists' hopes of fielding their regular openers for the remaining two tests against a dominant England side, who have already raced to a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

"Virender Sehwag will fly to England early tomorrow (Wednesday) morning to join the Indian cricket team," N Srinivasan, secretary of the Indian cricket board (BCCI), said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sehwag has been out of action since undergoing shoulder surgery in May and missed the tour of West Indies and India's comprehensive defeats in the first two tests against England.

His Delhi team mate Gautam Gambhir, who injured his elbow while fielding in the Lord's opening test and missed the match in Trent Bridge, is also likely to return to the starting lineup for the third test beginning on 10 August at Birmingham.

In Sehwag's absence, left-handed Abhinav Mukund opened with Gambhir and added 63 runs in the first innings of the Lord's test but the latter could not open in the second innings after a Matt Prior sweep shot struck his elbow.

Veteran Rahul Dravid deputised as a makeshift opener in the second innings and at Trent Bridge but his individual form notwithstanding, partnerships of 19, zero and six suggest India did not get the starts they were hoping for from their top two.

India start a two-day practice match at Northampton on Friday prior to the Birmingham test.