England in India 2008-09 November 12, 2008

Sidebottom ruled out of first ODI

Cricinfo staff


Ryan Sidebottom won't be available for the opening match of the one-day series © Getty Images
 
Ryan Sidebottom has been ruled out of the first ODI against India at Rajkot, but England are hopeful that Stuart Broad will recover from the knee injury which kept him out of the warm-up defeat against the Mumbai Cricket Association XI, on Tuesday.

Sidebottom is still not ready to return from the Achilles problem that has prevented him playing since the opening match of the Stanford Super Series.

Broad picked up his knee problem during England's first warm-up match on Sunday where he bowled four overs. His knee swelled up but has responded to treatment and the England management will monitor him in the build-up to Friday's opening ODI.

"He's had it injected and it seems to have reacted, but we won't know until he bowls before the match," Peter Moores, the England coach, told Sky Sports.

If Broad joins Sidebottom on the sidelines, it will leave England short of quick-bowling choices for the first ODI. Steve Harmison, James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff played in both warm-up matches, and there is a strong chance England will field two spinners, but it doesn't leave much room for any late injury or illness problems. Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright both offer seam options, although neither bowled during the two warm-up matches.

The squad will head to Rajkot with the embarrassment of being bowled out for 98 by the Mumbai Cricket Association XI still fresh in their minds, but captain Kevin Pietersen has been quick to draw a line under the dismal performance.

"I'm not going to criticise or do anything," he said. "I'll back all the lads in the dressing room to know that when we travel to Rajkot they are going to have their heads on. This is just a quick little lesson and a quick little reminder that we need to get back into winning ways - there's no drama."

Meanwhile, there is one other injury problem surrounding the squad after it was announced that tour manager Phil Neale will fly home for knee surgery. His role will be taken by security consultant Reg Dickason during the one-day series, and Neale is expected to return for the two-Tests series that starts on December 11.