Calcutta: It’s no exaggeration that if Sachin Tendulkar sneezes, India catches a cold. It has happened in the past, it’s being replayed right now.
The mood, of course, is reflected in what Team India coach John Wright told The Telegraph from Amsterdam: “We’re faced with a big problem and, now, must hope for the best…”
As was indicated would happen (in these columns on Saturday), Sachin is out of the ongoing tri-series in Holland.
The tennis elbow bit was established on Friday morning itself and a visit to a leading orthopaedic in Rotterdam, later that day, confirmed Sachin is going to miss the entire August 21-28 tournament.
According to manager Goutam Das Gupta, who spoke shortly before the (truncated) tri-series opener against Pakistan got underway, Sachin will be off nets too “for a week.”
Contacted on his cellphone, he said: “Because of the pain in his left hand, Sachin has been advised a complete break for a week… A fresh evaluation of his injury, though, is going to be made after two-three days.”
Incidentally, this is the second time this year that the most prolific rungetter in ODIs has had a worry-inducing problem — instance No.1 was the lead-up to the tour of Pakistan when Sachin had back spasms.
With physio Andrew Leipus working overtime, that disappeared pretty quickly, but this tennis elbow ailment may not vanish similarly.
In fact, there already is a question mark over Sachin’s participation in the opening match of the NatWest Challenge, at Trent Bridge on September 1.
If a reminder is needed, the potentially explosive Champions Trophy begins on September 10, with India’s opening game (versus Kenya, in Southampton) a day later.
Understandably, the team management doesn’t intend calling for a back-up — certainly not now, largely because Sourav Ganguly is captaining a 15-strong squad.