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Home > India > Cricket > IPL > Report

Tendulkar banking on Jayasuriya's spin

May 13, 2008 20:46 IST
Last Updated: May 13, 2008 21:23 IST

Sachin Tendulkar [Images] is banking on veteran Sri Lankan player Sanath Jayasuriya to give the Mumbai Indians a cutting edge in spin bowling in their Indian Premier League clash against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.

"In the last three games (which his team won) the seamers have done a terrific job. Sanath got important wickets in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders (at the Eden Gardens). Sanath will be a key bowler for us tomorrow," said the champion batsman, ahead of his first IPL tie.

Tendulkar, who missed the first seven matches of Mumbai Indians due to a groin injury, felt it is becoming clearer which are the teams to beat in the remaining matches.

"There were some teams which started off well but fell off a bit midway and there are others who started badly and then have done well. It's all a question of momentum. We now know who are in contention for the semis. Those are the teams we have to beat," said Tendulkar.

He was referring to the lead position in the table occupied by Rajasthan Royals, led by Shane Warne [Images], and Punjab King's XI, captained by Yuvraj Singh [Images], who are strongly poised to reach the last four.

Tendulkar said though Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] is a very important player in the rival ranks, there are others too, like S Badrinath and Albie Morkel, and it is important not to focus on a any individual.

"There will be challenges. It's not only about Dhoni. There are other batsmen too. Badrinath has made some runs. And there are others like Albie Morkel. We don't take anyone lightly," he said.

The champion batsman, who opted out of the Twenty20 World Cup last year along with fellow-seniors Sourav Ganguly [Images] and Rahul Dravid [Images], said he will be at home playing this format, having taken part in domestic Twenty20 matches last year.

"I have played Twenty20 games last year and thoroughly enjoyed them. I will just have to go out there with other senior players and get into the group. I'm prepared for all the challenges. That's the reason I stayed with the team over the last three weeks (to develop bonding)," he said.

The Mumbai Indians' captain declared that there will not be too many changes in the twelve that was named for the last match, with only his name being added to that list.

"We will see the wicket tomorrow and decide, but there would not be too many changes," he said.

Tendulkar said he is now feeling much better physically and the discomfort he had experienced earlier after he played a practice tie midway through his rehabilitation process has completely gone.

"I feel much better. The discomfort I had experienced has gone and I am feeling quite comfortable," he said.

Asked whether the IPL has given a fresh lease of life to bowlers, like those from his own team -- Ashish Nehra and Chennai SK's L Balaji, Tendulkar said not only these two but the T20 league has given a chance to rub shoulders with international players of India and overseas to so many other youngsters.

"For five weeks they have the chance to rub shoulders with top cricketers from not only India but abroad too. The more you talk cricket with them the more you learn. That's why I say Indian cricket will benefit eventually (from IPL)", he said.

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