Dhoni and Sehwag at loggerheads?

The announcement that Sehwag is returning home and MS Dhoni's strange conduct at a presser has generated speculation that the 2 players are at loggerheads.

updated: June 09, 2009 16:06 IST
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Trent Bridge:

The sudden announcement that Virender Sehwag is returning home due to a shoulder injury and skipper MS Dhoni's somewhat strange conduct at a press conference here on Tuesday has generated strong speculation that the two players are at loggerheads.

Dhoni, who is enaged in a cold war with the media in the last few days after newspaper reports of a rift between the two cricket players, refused to anwser any questions on Sehwag's shoulder injury which has prompted the decision to send the swashbuckling batsman back home without even playing a single match in the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup. India are the defending champions.

He said that the BCCI would be speaking on the issue, which it did.

Journalists found it odd that a team captain should not be willing to talk about the injury to his deputy who is a key player in the team.

Moreoever, Dhoni responded to questions on Sehwag in monosyllables.

Indian team sources said that while Sehwag's shoulder problem was "genuine", Dhoni appeared to be unhappy that the vice-captain had not kept him informed about the injury which he sustained during the IPL's recent tournament in South Africa.

In other words, Sehwag had carried the injury to the World Cup tournament where India is defending the title.

Sehwag missed both the warm-up matches and the game against Bangladesh which India won.

Dhoni could also have been hinting at Sehwag when earlier in the press conference he hoped there would be no injuries in the tournament.

"Hopefully we would not have more injuries in the tournanment. It's a short tournament but the intensity level is quite high. It's very demanding," he said.

Dhoni also completely lost his cool when it was implied that the news about Sehwag being ruled out for the ongoing tournament was leaked.

"You are blaming me for leaking the news... you have all gathered here. Then why doesn't one of you stand up and..." he said. Just then he was cut short and a journalist tried to pacify him by saying "no we are not (blaming you)", he said.

Coach Gary Kirsten said: "Viru is one of our main batsmen, so not having him around is a blow. We need to work around his absence."

Earlier in the day, Sehwag did come to the nets and batted for only 12 balls before retiring to the dressing room, complaining about his recurrent pain in the right shoulder to Dhoni and Kirsten.

Sehwag may need a surgery to his injured shoulder and will return home after consulting medical experts here, the BCCI said.