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All Eyes On Sehwag Before Warm-Up Game

PTI 04 Aug 2011, 17:55:52 IST

Northampton, Aug 4:  Virender Sehwag is being touted as the messiah who will pull India out of the rut and no wonder once the opener trudged into the indoor nets here, the waiting media contingent started minutely following each and every movement.

Such was the clamour from electronic media to record every move of Sehwag that Gautam Gambhir's intense knocking session facing throwdowns from fielding coach Trevor Penny and monitored by coach Duncan Fletcher largely went unnoticed.

While Sehwag is returning from a shoulder injury, Gambhir had been rendered out of action because of the impact his right elbow received due to a ferocious Matt Prior sweep in the first Test at the Lord's last month.

Another injured cricketer Zaheer Khan kept himself away from indoor nets but his recovery has been on expected lines and he has begun to bowl with growing vigour over the last three days.

All three will be keenly observed in the two-day match against Northamptonshire beginning tomorrow.

India would look to field all three of them in the third Test in Edgbaston on August 10 even if their presence and productivity is reduced to minimum in the two-day tie.

The tie will be of equal concern for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who needs to do well with both the willow and big gloves.

And so it must be for Suresh Raina who has again got his critics going over his handling of intimidatory fast bowling.

Both Dhoni and Raina were two early turn-outs at the nets, along with Sehwag and Gambhir, as the visitors look to regain belief and respect in the eyes of millions of fans.

Within an hour, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman too were showing up at the indoor nets as a determined India announced its intention to set its house in order. PTI