Mumbai Indians received a boost on Saturday as Sachin Tendulkar said that he is likely to play in their next IPL 5 game against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. The batting legend confirmed to MiD DAY that his right index finger, which has seen him miss Mumbai's previous four games - has now healed.
“It (finger) is good now,” Tendulkar told MiD DAY after a practice session at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s ground in Bandra Kurla Complex on Friday. Tendulkar batted in full zest for nearly two hours in the nets and the veteran batsman in all probability looks set to take the field against Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
He started off cautiously, trying to concentrate on middling the ball well. But as he got into his stride, Tendulkar started to unleash his signature strokes. It was a treat to watch the elegant straight and cover drives, the cut shot, and the inside-out shot over the cover region. The legendary batsman seemed to be in experimental mood as he played some shots which we may not have seen him execute in his near 23-year international career. He attempted the switch hit a number of times in spite of finding it tough to connect on a couple of occasions. Another shot he played quite often was dabbing the ball in the third man region. He was also seen adapting a West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul-like stance — a bit open-chested.
Tendulkar missed the last four games for Mumbai Indians after hurting his right finger while trying to fend a short one from Chennai Super Kings’ Doug Bollinger in the IPL 5 opener on April 4. He resumed training a few days before the match against Delhi Daredevils last week, but he still some discomfort felt and couldn't play. Having lost their previous game in Delhi by seven wickets after a shoddy batting display, Mumbai Indians will be hoping Tendulkar’s return will provide a timely fillip to the team.