Score: India 274-7 (Patel 95, Kohli 55); England 27-2; Match abandoned
The Sachin Tendulkar Roadshow took another twist when he was forced out of the opening match of the NatWest Series.
The Indian batting superstar was ruled out with the recurrence of a toe injury which has flared now and again since 2002, and will be seen by a specialist in Southampton on Monday.
Tendulkar, 38, now only has a maximum of four 50-over matches on this tour to achieve his goal of registering the one international hundred needed to take his career tally to a staggering 100.
Having come so agonizingly close to doing so with 91 in the final Test at the Kia Oval, the expectation was that he would get there within the next fortnight but the injury jinx that has blighted the Indians struck again, and also claimed Rohit Sharma, the seventh player to be ruled out of the tour through injury after breaking his right index finger batting.
In the latest in a catalogue of mishaps that began during the first Test, India will therefore have to call in another replacement, although it is unlikely to be in time for Tuesday’s second match at the Rose Bowl.
“At Lord’s I thought everything that could go wrong had gone wrong but it has always been increasing since. All sorts of things have happened but still we are fighting with whatever resources we have got,” insisted their battle-hardened captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Their ill fortune extended to the weather in the north-east – they had not been better placed to beat England this summer than when rain terminated things here.
Even then the elements teased the tourists, further showers preventing re-starts at 4.50pm and 5.40pm – when England would have required stiff overall targets of 224 off 32 and 164 off 20 overs respectively.
Although James Anderson became only the second English bowler to take 200 one-day international wickets, India had most reason to be cheerful about what action did take place as they reveled in the change of format.
Anderson followed Darren Gough to the mark with the dismissal of Parthiv Patel, caught behind chasing a wide one, deep into India’s innings. The left-handed opener was cruelly denied a maiden international hundred in the process.
Parthiv, at the top of the order because India’s preferred top three of Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were among the absentees, showed a stomach for the fight and technique against the short ball sadly lacking from the batsmen in the four Tests that preceded this one-day campaign.
India’s struggles to reach 300 in the 4-0 whitewash hamstrung their chances but greater batting acumen in the Twenty20 defeat in midweek offered hope of improvement, and a competitive score was posted here thanks to the early work of Parthiv and 50-over debutant Ajinkya Rahane.
Countering the challenge of batting first in an end-of-season ODI in England – “A 10.15am start means the ball normally does a bit early on,” said England captain Alastair Cook confidently at the toss – they negotiated both the mandatory and bowling powerplays, chiefly down to Parthiv being dropped at point on seven by Ben Stokes, on his home ground and in his first ODI in this country.
Once again England bombarded the Indians with short stuff but the diminutive Parthiv simply used the pace to deflect into gaps while his partner Rahane, a man with a first-class batting average of 67.68, pulled as enthusiastically as he did in midweek in Manchester.
However, the cross-bat stroke proved his downfall when he helped a Stuart Broad delivery to fine leg and Indian momentum was further checked by the controversial departure of Rahul Dravid two overs later. Broad immediately called for a review, neglecting to consult Cook, so confident was he that there had been a nick. Although Hot Spot did not reveal contact with the edge, third umpire Marais Erasmus agreed, adjudging the noise detected by technology to be bat on ball and a dejected Dravid trudged off.
Broad also accounted for Rohit Sharma, who departed for hospital for an X-ray to confirm his fracture after being struck on the right index finger from his only delivery.
But when the shuffling Praveen Kumar did some damage of his own, accounting for Cook and Craig Kieswetter, it tilted the balance India’s way, if only temporarily.
Shot of the day: Suresh Raina’s drop-kicked six into the stand at long leg when Jade Dernbach strayed in direction towards the death.
Delivery of the day: The brute from Stuart Broad that reared up and struck Rohit Sharma on the right glove, breaking a finger and almost certainly ruling him out of the rest of the tour.
Spell of the day: Praveen Kumar’s fine use of the new ball that accounted for Alastair Cook and Craig Kieswetter gave him figures of 4-1-11-2 before the rain ruined things.
Injury of the day: Take your pick on this tour but Rohit Sharma’s broken finger, incurred from his first ball in the series, up-staged Sachin Tendulkar’s sore big toe.