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Rediff.com  » Cricket » I started practising 10 days ago for Lord's match, says Tendulkar

I started practising 10 days ago for Lord's match, says Tendulkar

Last updated on: July 04, 2014 19:18 IST

I started practising 10 days ago for Lord's match, says Tendulkar

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Exactly six months and 18 days since he called time on his illustrious career, Sachin Tendulkar will again step out in white flannels to lead the Marylebone Cricket Club XI against a Shane Warne-led Rest of World XI in a bi-centenary celebrations match, at the hallowed Lord's turf in London, on Saturday.

On his admission, the world's highest run-getter in both Tests and ODIs is enjoying retired life and still to find the "centre of the bat" during the knocking sessions for the past 10 days.

"I have enjoyed my time with the family. I started practising ten days ago and it is nice to be back in the gear and hitting a few balls. I'm still trying to find the centre of the bat," a smiling Tendulkar told the mediapersons during a pre-match conference at Lord's.

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Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

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I started practising 10 days ago for Lord's match, says Tendulkar

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Asked if he missed being in action, Tendulkar replied, "I have been watching, but I haven't been feeling like getting in the nets."

The 50-over match on Saturday is to mark 200 years of Lord’s cricket stadium, also known as the home of cricket.

Tendulkar, who first came to Lord's as a teenager way back in 1990, fondly recollected: "It is always a special feeling; whenever I come here it is special -- the crowd and the atmosphere is fantastic, no matter how many times you come here."

He added he is looking forward to the match, in which he will be playing alongside long-time teammate Rahul Dravid, the legendary Brian Lara and Australian pace great Brett Lee.

Warne's Rest of the World team comprises Adam Gilchrist, Muttiah Muralitharan and Shahid Afridi among others.

"The idea is to celebrate the occasion and give something special to the spectators, compete in the right spirit and compete as hard as possible," Tendulkar said.

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Image: India's Sachin Tendulkar heads back to the pavillion after being dismissed during day three of the 1st Test match against England at Lord's in London on July 23, 2011
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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'KP is an absolute match-winner'

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Tendulkar's long time on-field rival and opposition captain Warne was more keen on talking about discarded Engand star Kevin Pietersen's chances of making a comeback in the national squad.

"KP is an absolute match-winner," Warne said at the press conference.

"He is a superstar and a wonderful player. He is fantastic to watch and I'm sure he will turn it on on Saturday and smash it all over the park. He has played well over the years at Lord's in his time with England and, hopefully, he can do that on Saturday."

Asked about his take on captaincy, Warne replied: "I think you can always improve as a player and as a captain; some people are naturally leaders, and some people it doesn't suit them.

"Ask Ian Botham, one of the best all-time cricketers, but he always said captaincy wasn't for him," added Warne, in reference to the all-rounder's unsuccessful spell as England captain in the early 1980s.

"You can improve but you are either a leader or you are not; and if you are not a leader and you try to force something, it doesn't really work."


Image: Shane Warne
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

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