Sachin likely to play against Kings XI Punjab


Mohali: Mumbai Indians skipper Sachin Tendulkar, who complained of fatigue and dehydration during their last match against Chennai Super Kings, is recovering well and is expected to play against Kings XI Punjab Friday.

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Tendulkar left the field while batting, but came back later when Mumbai Indians were struggling to save the match.

“Sachin is getting better. We are hopeful that he will be fit and will be ready to play tomorrow’s game,” said Shikhar Dhawan at the pre-match press conference at Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium Thursday evening.

Dhawan said Tendulkar’s presence is very important as he has been a motivating factor for the team.

“Sachin is a great leader and his presence gives a lot of confidence to every player,” he pointed out.

“Sachin is the world’s best batsman and he is also a great captain. We have won many matches under his captaincy. He is calm on the field and there is a good feeling out there. Hopefully we will win tomorrow’s game under his captaincy.”

So far, Mumbai Indians have won seven out of nine matches and are at the top of the table with 14 points. Their defeat against Chennai Super Kings came after five consecutive victories. In complete contrast, Kings XI Punjab are placed at the bottom of IPL standings with only two wins in 10 matches.

Mumbai Indians will be playing most of their away matches now and Dhawan said they are prepared.

“We are fully prepared for the matches at different venues. We are looking forward to win the remaining matches of the IPL.”

Dhawan had been in good form this season and has forged a successful opening combination with Tendulkar.

“I am quite happy with my performance so far. I am happy that I am emerging as a more matured player,” said Dhawan.

Dhawan played for Delhi Daredevils in the first season but later joined Mumbai Indians.

“Unfortunately I got injured after few matches but later I was lucky that Mumbai Indians gave me a chance to play. I am enjoying my game,” said Dhawan.

“Performance of a player always counts. Whether you are playing IPL or domestic cricket, it is performance that matters. So, it is a great opportunity to prove our skills and caliber,” he pointed out.

Dhawan was also full of praise for their team owner Reliance Industries.

“We are like a big family. We are proud to have such team owners. We are never in any kind of pressure. Even Sachin advise is to play positively and without taking any pressure,” said Dhawan.

Talking about Kings XI Punjab’s dismal performance despite presence of many star players, he added: “All teams are good but sometimes luck is not on your favour. This can happen to any team. Tomorrow’s game is important and we are looking forward to win it.”