India were dealt a massive blow ahead of next month's ODI series against South Africa with aggressive opener Virender Sehwag ruled out due to a shoulder injury.
Sehwag, who had nursed a shoulder injury a few months ago as well, will be replaced by Rohit Sharma in the squad for the five-match series starting here on January 12.
"Virender Sehwag has been advised to withdraw from the ODI series against South Africa to tend to his shoulder. Rohit Sharma will replace him in the squad," the BCCI said in a statement.
"Murali Vijay will stay back in South Africa for the ODI series, as the 17th playing member of the squad," board secretary N Srinivasan added.
The previous shoulder problem had forced the 32-year-old out of the ICC World Twenty20 Championships in May.
India is currently playing a three-Test series against the Proteas, which is locked 1-1 after the visitors notched up an 87 run win in the second Test yesterday.
The third Test will be played from January 2 in Cape Town.