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India lose new one-day hero Sehwag for rest of Aussie series

PUNE, India, March 27 (AFP) - India's young all-rounder Virender Sehwag was on Tuesday ruled out for the rest of the one-day series against Australia due to an injury in his bowling hand.

The 22-year-old from Delhi hurt his right thumb while fielding during his match-winning performance in the first one-dayer at Bangalore on Sunday, in which he scored 58 off 54 balls and grabbed three wickets.

The injury was later diagnosed as a multiple fracture, which leaves Sehwag facing imminent surgery and at least two months out of the game.

Worried Indian selectors have called up exciting left-hander Yuvraj Singh to replace Sehwag in the 14-man squad for the second one-dayer to be played here on Wednesday.

Yuvraj, who made his mark at the International Cricket Council's knock-out tournament in Kenya last October, is being flown in from Bangladesh where he had gone to play an exhibition tie.

"Sehwag's absence is a big blow but we have to take it in our stride and get on with the job," Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said.

He added that either seasoned all-rounder Robin Singh or Yuvraj will come in for Sehwag as the only change from the team that ended Australia's 10-match winning streak at Bangalore.

After 570 runs were scored in the first one-dayer, Ganguly predicted another run feast on the batsmen-friendly wicket at the Nehru stadium here.

"Pune has always been good to batsmen and it should be no different this time. The team that bats better will win."

The one-day defeat was Australia's third successive setback on the tour after losing the last two Test matches, but captain Steve Waugh was not worried.

"I would not say things have not gone well for the past few weeks,' Waugh said. "We played good cricket, we gave it our best."

Waugh said Australia will continue its rotation policy to give all 15 players a chance, hinting that Andrew Symonds, Darren Lehmann, Shane Lee and Nathan Bracken will get a look-in soon.

"Those guys who missed out could well play the next game," he said.

There is, however, no move to drop in-form opener Matthew Hayden, who followed his 503 runs in the Test series with a 99 off 89 balls at Bangalore.

The left-hander, whose inclusion forced the hugely successful partnership of Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist to be disbanded, looks set to open for the rest of the tour.

"Matthew is playing so well we gave him the opportunity to open the batting and we'll probably reassess that after this series," Waugh said.

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