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Prajakta Pawar in Jaipur

Tendulkar’s keen and fresh: Wright

Mumbai Indians coach talks about Little Master and upcoming CLT20 campaign

While Sachin Tendulkar has always been a cynosure, all eyes will be especially locked on him as the Mumbai Indians gear up for the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 2013 as the maestro gets set to star in the team’s line-up for the last time, before bidding adieu to Twenty20s at the end of the tournament.

The Mumbai Indians will also be keen to make this outing memorable for the legend. While addressing the media in Jaipur, team skipper Rohit Sharma said, “Everyone knows that he will be playing for the last time in this format, so we will try and do something special for him.”
Coach John Wright, who has worked with the batting legend closely over the years, observed, “Sachin has never changed in the way that he approaches the game. He loves the game. He knows about himself and how he plays, and he prepares accordingly.”

“We have been Ahmedabad for a four-day camp and it was a pleasure for all of us to work with him,” added Wright. “I am pleased to report that he is batting well and he is keen and fresh. The boys love playing with Sachin, he is big part of our franchise and it will be great to see him at the wicket again. The thing about Sachin I think is he has kept it very simple, he knows his game inside out and he works hard on his preparation that has never changed.”

Meanwhile, MI as a team is also keen to soak in the pressure and make the most of this tournament. Sharma, who led the Mumbai franchise to their maiden IPL title in the 2013 season, said that although there will be pressure, it is important to for his teammates to play to their potential and stick to their game plans. To that end, Sharma said that he would like to begin the CLT20 campaign afresh.

Speaking about captaincy, he added, “It has helped me in many ways. When it came to me it wasn’t easy obviously leading such a huge franchise. And considering the fact that we have been looking for the title for the last five years also made it difficult. But yes, we have a good and balanced squad. If we play to our potential we are a difficult team to beat and that is what we showed in the last IPL.”

“Everyone just stepped up when it was needed and it was a good performance and we just want to leave it back now and we start another campaign here, which is going to be challenging and exciting and we are looking forward to it,” Sharma said.

Speaking about the team’s success, Wright said, “We have got a good balance and the boys enjoy each others’ company. Everyone is involved right down through the owners to our team. We just feel part of it.”

While both captain and coach agreed that the team will miss Lasith Malinga, who has been an important cog in the line-up and starred in many a wins, Sharma said that MI “do have other experienced bowlers and we will do well.”

“I would like to mention that the success in the sixth season of the IPL was because of the performance of all the boys and all the bowlers in the side had bowled well.”

Wright added that “we have got good depth and we see those things as an opportunity” while mentioning that there are others in the team like Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who will be keen to make an impact on the tournament.

MI will kick start their campaign against the Rajasthan Royals, who were unbeatable at home in IPL 2013. Speaking about the stiff challenge posed by the Rahul Dravid-led side, Sharma said, “They are a good team; a balanced team. It is not easy for them also to just come and play good cricket. They too will have to assess the conditions. We will try and put them under pressure right from the first ball.”

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