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Beleaguered India has been boosted by news that Virender Sehwag will arrive in England on Tuesday and play in the tour match at Northampton two days later following having healthier from a shoulder operation.

Trailing 2-0 in the four-match series, India badly need the free-scoring icebreaker to be ready for the third Test against England at Edgbaston next week. Zaheer Khan, however, remains in doubt after bowling gingerly in the nets Monday morning. The left-arm quick injured his hamstring in the first Test at Lord’s last week and ruling him out the match at Trent Bridge, which India lost by 319 runs.

Opener Gautam Gambhir could also return from an arm injury, but Harbhajan Singh has a stomach strain and is in doubt. “There were quite a few things that were bothering us (like) missing one of your key fast bowlers,” Dhoni said. “When you’re playing with four bowlers it becomes difficult to manouvre things.”

Dhoni was asked if he had “missed a trick” with his bowling unit. “We didn’t have any tricks left with the bowlers we had. I tried everything,” he replied. “The bowlers took up their responsibilities, they had to bowl quite a lot of over’s, which they did, and they still got a breakthrough at the right time.”

From boos to cheers for Indian cricketers By contrast, England captain Andrew Strauss has so much talent at his disposal he may have to leave out Tim Bresnan, who scored 90 in the second innings and took 5-48 to rip through the tourists’ batting order.

Bresnan was only selected for the second Test after Chris Tremlett failed a fitness test on the morning of the first day. Strauss was reluctant to be drawn on his dilemma, instead point to Jonathan Trott’s shoulder injury from a fielding mishap as evidence that England’s team selections aren’t straightforward.

“I think we’ve got to assess that when we get to Edgbaston,” he said. “We are not yet sure about the injuries to Trott and Tremlett at this stage. But it’s fantastic to see Stuart Broad score runs and take wickets and to see Tim showing his all round skills as well.” Having missed England’s series with Sri Lanka due to injury, Bresnan was predictable to replace a stressed Stuart Broad to play India, but he missed out when part of the 12-man squad at Lord’s.

Broad subsequently vindicated the selectors decision with superb performances in both Tests. If Trott fails to recover, England could choose both Bresnan and Broad and revert to five specialist batsmen.

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