Tendulkar to return home with hamstring injury

Sunday, January 16, 2011

JOHANNESBURG - Sachin Tendulkar has injured his hamstring and will return home, making him the fourth frontline Indian player to be injured with just a month left for the World Cup.

Tendulkar injured his right hamstring while batting in the second One-day International against South Africa Saturday and did not take field in the second innings. India won the thrilling match by one run and levelled the five-match series.

“Sachin has sustained an injury and he will not be available for the next three matches. He will be going back,” captain M.S. Dhoni said.

Tendulkar joins openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, and fast bowler Praveen Kumar on India’s growing injury list.

The nature and extent of the injury is not yet known.

Dhoni said he is not sure whether any replacement to Tendulkar will be announced.

“I don’t know whether we are getting someone from India or not. The visa will take three days at least, he will take the next flight, and by the time he comes here we will have just one match left.”

In the absence of Tendulkar, India is now left with only one regular opener in Murali Vijay, who along with Rohit Sharma were included in the team as back-up to Sehwag and Gambhir.

“I don’t know who will open. Vijay is looking a bit out of form, but he’s working well in the nets and form is just a matter of a few strokes.”

Dhoni also said he would be rotating the fast bowlers in the remaining three matches because there are a few niggles troubling them.

“We will have to see what kind of niggle a bowler is having and accordingly we will decide,” Dhoni said.

“We don’t have too many fast bowlers to choose from when it comes to the one-day side. You have two bowlers outside, Ishant (Sharma) and Sreesanth, who have not played a lot of ODI cricket recently. This series is important, but I don’t want any bowler to get injured because of over burden. We will try to avoid it because World Cup is big for us, but at the same time this series is important.”

The national selectors will meet Monday to select the squad for the World Cup which begins Feb 19.

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