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Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

England struck by seamer crisis

First One-day International, Rajkot
Match: India v England Date: Friday 14 November Time: 0330 GMT
Coverage: Test Match Special on BBC Radio Four (analogue and digital), 5 live sports extra, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only); Live text commentary on BBC Sport website; Also live on Sky Sports 1

Ryan Sidebottom
Despite positive signs, England's Ryan Sidebottom is not yet 100% fit

England could find their seam bowling resources stretched to the limit as they prepare a side to take on India in Friday's first one-day international.

Ryan Sidebottom is out following his slow recovery from Achilles problems.

And fellow Nottinghamshire star Stuart Broad must come through a fitness test on Thursday after missing Tuesday's warm-up match with a sore knee.

India pace bowler Ishant Sharma has also been ruled out of the match in Rajkot because of an ankle injury.

Ishant aggravated the problem during the 2-0 Test series win over Australia, in which he took 15 wickets to win the man-of-the-series award, and has been advised to rest for five days.

England, meanwhile, were flying north to Rajkot on Wednesday, no doubt keen to forget the 124-run thrashing they suffered against an inexperienced Mumbai XI on Tuesday.

"No-one likes getting beat," coach Peter Moores told BBC Sport. "It has to be taken as a wake-up call. Physically and effort-wise, everyone's working very hard, but mentally maybe we didn't put ourselves in the right place.

"We've got to do that before Friday. Let's hope we've learned our lesson and we can produce."

Captain Kevin Pietersen added: "Maybe there was an assumption that somebody would get a partnership and we'd go on and do it and it didn't happen. The lesson there is that we should take nothing for granted."

Broad is ranked the fifth best bowler in world cricket in one-day internationals and would be expected to slot straight back into the side when fit.

"If there's no reaction, Stuart should be fit and available for selection," Moores added.

"We've got a versatile squad with a lot of all-rounders, so we've got quite a lot of depth in bowling that we can call on, but we're very keen for Stuart to get fit.

"Ryan's a chance for the second ODI but we are conscious of not releasing him into competitive cricket too early."

If Broad is fit, England's selectors will have to make a decision on who to play out of all-rounders Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara, both of whom have yet to bowl on tour.

India are on a high after beating Australia 2-0 in a recent Test series, but their one-day squad includes eight players who did not play against Ricky Ponting's men.

Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar has been rested after his recent performances against Australia, and Moores said: "For us, it's a bit of a bonus, but they've got a lot of good depth of talent."

England lost 5-1 on their last visit to India in 2006 but Moores said: "The boys are very excited about taking on India.

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"They got heavily beaten last time here and want to show how much they've matured as a team.

"Indian cricket is on the up. That will make it tough but also quite exciting. We haven't played a massive amount of competitive cricket over the last seven weeks, so we've got to get ourselves mentally ready to play."

A punishing schedule for England takes in seven one-dayers, each at a different venue.

"I think we are ready and up for the challenge," said Moores. "We are looking to get off to a good start, put some pressure on India and build some confidence."

Meanwhile, team manager Phil Neale is to fly home to have knee surgery but is expected to return in time for the Test series, which begins on 11 December.

Security consultant Reg Dickason will take over his role as tour manager for the one-day series.


India squad: Mahendra Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, RP Singh, Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay.

England squad: Kevin Pietersen (capt), Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Samit Patel, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison, James Anderson.

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see also
England's Indian challenge
12 Nov 08 |  England
Pietersen calm after dismal loss
11 Nov 08 |  England
England collapse to heavy defeat
11 Nov 08 |  England
Flintoff ton sets up England win
09 Nov 08 |  England
Tendulkar rested for one-dayers
05 Nov 08 |  Cricket
England in India 2008
14 Jul 08 |  Cricket


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Nottingham Evening Post Flintoff off to a flyer - 58 hrs ago
Northern Echo Sidebottom still struggling for fitness - 58 hrs ago
Nottingham Evening Post Flintoff ton lifts England - 61 hrs ago
Sportal.com.au Flintoff tons up in India - 63 hrs ago
Western Telegraph Flintoff off to a flyer - 66 hrs ago


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