First Sachinless India ODI at Wankhede

Published: 23 October, 2011 07:35 IST | Harit N Joshi & Sai Mohan |

For the first time Sachin Tendulkar will not be part of the team sheet in an international game at the Wankhede Stadium since his debut in 1989

For the first time Sachin Tendulkar will not be part of the team sheet in an international game at the Wankhede Stadium since his debut in 1989. 

Sachin Tendulkar

A toe injury during the Test series against England ruled Tendulkar out of the subsequent ODI series, Champions League T20 and the ongoing series. However, Mumbaikars will not be robbed of the Sachin factor in the fourth one-dayer against England as the batting maestro is expected to cheer the Indian team from the stands.

"Of course, Tendulkar is coming to watch the match. After all, it is in his home town," Nitin Dalal, Mumbai Cricket Association's Joint Honorary Secretary, told MiD DAY on Saturday. India's batting maestro has scored 734 and 445 runs in eight Tests and 11 ODIs, respectively at the Wankhede.

Sharma, not Kumble!
IT'S no understatement that Rahul Sharma does not turn the ball. How would he? The lanky leg-spinner drops short at least nine out of ten deliveries. On Saturday, he bowled for close to 90 minutes at the nets to skipper MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and Ravindra Jadeja, during India's training session at the Wankhede Stadium.

Rahul Sharma

While that could prove to be a strong indication of his inclusion in Sunday's game here, the hosts might think twice before dislodging the successful duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, that combined for nine wickets in India's three victories.

And yet, there's something different about Sharma that could work in his favour. Just like Anil Kumble, who wasn't a big turner himself, Sharma started out as a fast bowler who switched to leg spin. And just like Kumble, Sharma uses his height -- 6 feet, 3 inches -- to good effect.

But the difference between Kumble and Sharma has been the length. While Kumble rarely turned the ball, he bowled an immaculate length. On Saturday, Sharma bowled far too many short balls. It might prove risky for Sharma to be entrusted with an India cap just yet. But there's the x-factor that he brings to the table that could definitely earn him his debut soon.

30 per cent tickets still unsold
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is facing a challenging time selling the tickets for today's fourth ODI at the Wankhede Stadium. Despite making more tickets available for public, there has been lukewarm response.

"So far, we have managed to sell at least 70 per cent of the tickets. We are expecting more people to buy on match day," said Nitin Dalal, Mumbai Cricket Association's Joint Hon Secretary. High ticket rates and festive season are some of the few reasons attributed for less demand.


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