The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tiwary likely to miss series

Dhaka: It didn’t take long for senior-most pro Sachin Tendulkar and captain Rahul Dravid to recover from injuries in the conditioning camp, but rookie Manoj Tiwary is likely to miss the entire three-match ODI series.

Selected for the ODIs only, young Tiwary hurt his right shoulder while diving during Tuesday afternoon’s workout at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium. The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“I’m in pain... I can’t say anything else as I haven’t been given the medical update,” a downcast Tiwary told The Telegraph on returning to the Sheraton after a trip to Apollo Hospital.

Tiwary, in fact, got back as late as 8.30 pm with a sling in place. He’d gone off the field clutching his right shoulder and mumbling “oof, oof...”

Officially, the team management didn’t give anything away.

“He’s under observation... Nothing more can be stated at this stage,” is all that administrative manager Surendra Bhave would reveal.

Strangely, he couldn’t confirm whether an X-ray had sufficed or Tiwary had undergone a scan. Cricket manager Ravi Shastri, though, said: “Everything has been done... Now, we’ve got to wait and watch.”

Team India physio John Gloster, who’d accompanied Tiwary to hospital, spent around five minutes “briefing” Dravid, Shastri and Bhave. The two specialist coaches, Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh, were also present.

Ramesh Powar, by the way, got hit on his left hand by Sreesanth during nets. Thankfully, the blow wasn’t hard and the ice-treatment was enough. Later, Powar did his bit during the fielding drills.

There are fitness worries in the Bangladesh camp as well. Some hours before Tiwary’s mishap, spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza developed a back problem after nets. As a result, he’s far from certain to take the field in the opening ODI, on Thursday.

Moreover, flamboyant opener Tamim Iqbal has been somewhat indisposed for the past couple of days.

The first two ODIs are in Dhaka — the second being on Saturday — while the final face-off will be in Chittagong on May 15. A two-Test series follows the ODIs.

Dravid, meanwhile, admitted that “fresh legs” make a difference and it’s a “positive” for Bangladesh that they have young players.

Lest that comment spark another controversy in this season of controversies, he quickly added: “Even we’ve got some young players... There’s place for youth and experience... At the end of the day, one seeks to win and put the best team out on the park...”

Asked whether this tour had become a tough assignment, Dravid replied: “Any assignment is as difficult or easy as you make it out to be... Each assignment has challenges and each assignment has opportunities...”

Dravid also accepted that Bangladesh have improved quite a bit since the last tour by India, in December 2004. “We expect a stiffer challenge... There have been changes in the Bangladesh team...”

He confirmed that Mahendra Singh Dhoni would start as the No. 1 wicketkeeper and Dinesh Karthik was in the squad more as a batsman.

The heat and humidity are bound to be factors, but Dravid pointed out the conditions would be the same for “both teams.”

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