This port city can perfectly connect with the sinking feeling. It was from here that the Titanic sailed out on her tragic maiden voyage to New York in 1912 but struck an iceberg and went down.That is pretty much the emotion that has been foremost among Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team mates on this tour as one player after another has been ruled out with injuries. Those setbacks have only added to their cheerless tour where they have often looked helpless against the vastly superior England.
India's injury count had touched seven in the Test series, and the team were dealt another blow when batsman Rohit Sharma suffered a fractured finger off the first ball he faced in the abandoned opening ODI on Saturday. Just when it appeared it couldn't get any worse, India have received another massive jolt. Their premier batsman Sachin Tendulkar was ruled out of the remainder of the tour because of a toe injury.
Much hope had rested on the batsman to revive the team in the one-dayers, after he had a disappointing run during the 0-4 Test series rout.The 38-year-old was all set to play his first game after the World Cup final when he pulled out of the opening match of the series at Chester-le-Street. He visited a specialist in London on Monday morning who examined Tendulkar's swollen right big toe and advised he will take at least a month to recover.
"Tendulkar has been ruled out of the series and he will take another four weeks to regain fitness," team manager Shivlal Yadav informed.
No Champions League
It means the Mumbai Indians skipper should be out of the Champions League as well. The T20 tournament will be played in India from Sept 23-Oct 9.
England has always held a special place in Tendulkar's heart. It is here that he hit his first international century in 1990. However, the batsman's last tour here has turned out to be one of the low points of his illustrious career.
He came here riding on the most successful four-year period which started from the 2007 tour of England. Having got his 99th international hundred at the World Cup, the home of cricket would have been the perfect setting to complete the century of centuries. But to the shock and dismay of his legion of fans, the wheel of fortune has turned a full circle this time.
His worst in Blighty
Off his five Test series in England, he has returned his worst average of 34.12. In the four Tests, he managed only two half-centuries with a highest score of 91.
It continues to be a wretched tour for Team India, who are yet to win a game against England. Their injury count, which is nine, now, has only pulled the team down. They were already missing Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan. Praveen Kumar had missed the fourth Test due to a leg injury but luckily recovered for the ODI series.
Much had been expected from Rohit Sharma before he is drafted into the Test side. However, he broke his finger off the very first delivery he faced in the ODI series. After the double blow, even skipper MS Dhoni, the eternal optimist, was left wondering whether the team was fated. "You can say that. A lot of things have gone wrong for us."