The Indian cricket team has virtually just two veterans on the England tour at the moment – Rahul Dravid and Mahendra Singh Dhoni after Sachin Tendulkar joined the long list of Indian cricketers flying back home following injuries on the ill fated tour of England.
Little has gone right for India or Sachin Tendulkar on the tour of England. Billed to the title battle, the Test series was not even a contest with India surrendering the no.1 Test team rank with a 4-0 series whitewash by way of reward for the jubilant, hard working England team. In the midst the fever-like pitch for Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th 100 also become a low key affair as innings after innings slipped by without a hint of Tendulkar looking like he would bring it about. The only time Tendulkar did ignite some emotions – tempered because of the situation India found themselves in in the fourth Test at the Oval, he was forced to settle with ninety-one.
There has been a more subdued approach to the India England ODI series after the dowdy Test series although the prospect of Tendulkar bringing up his 100th international century continued to lurk in the background. Those hopes though received an early set back when Tendulkar did not make the final playing eleven in the first ODI at Chester-le-Street.
But more bad news continues to follow India with Sachin Tendulkar being ruled out of the remainder of the India England ODI series after Tendulkar underwent the necessary tests and consultant to conclude that the previous big toe injury of his right foot had returned and that he would need four weeks of rest and rehabilitation before he can take to the cricket field again. What this basically means is that the Indian cricket team is further reduced by way of experience and now Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian captain, is left in a similar situation he found himself on the tour of the West Indies where several Indian cricketers missed the Test series. This time it is in the ODI series that the Indian captain must make adequate use of the limited resources at his disposal.
Sachin Tendulkar would not also play the Champions League Twenty20 2011 as the Mumbai Indians captain which is also likely to be a dampener for the team that has made the main draw. However, from Indian cricket team’s perspective, this has been a disastrous tour not only in terms of the results but also, in the number of Indian cricketers that have fallen prey to injuries. Tendulkar now joins the list that began with Zaheer Khan and also, the latest in Rohit Sharma who suffered a broken finger in the first ODI and will now miss the rest of the series as well.
With several of the Indian team that won the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 having returned home from England, it does not come as much of a surprise that there are several in England who are licking their lips at the prospect of England scoring ODI whitewash to go nicely with the 4-0 Test series win. A lot though will depend on Dhoni rally his young troops to hand England a shock against all odds.