Kolkata, May 23 (IANS) Mumbai Indians are hopeful of having a fit Sachin Tendulkar for their playoff against Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens here Friday. The batting legend has missed his team’s last three matches due to a wrist and hand injury.
“He has recovered well and we are very hopeful that he will be in for the game (Friday),” MI batsman Dwayne Smith told media persons here on match eve.
Tendulkar hurt his left hand and wrist while batting during Mumbai’s home game against Sunrisers Hyderabad May 13 and had to retire hurt. He then missed the team’s last two league games as well as the first qualifier against Chennai Super Kings in Delhi.
The batting maestro though, did turn up for the team’s net practice Thursday.
After playing football with his teammates for some time, Tendulkar then turned out at the nets preferring to bowl.
He bowled some medium pacers from a longish run up but later rolled his arm over dishing out leg and off breaks.
The master batsman so far has scored 287 runs from 14 innings including a half century.
Despite boasting of several match winners in the line up, MI are hoping for a team performance against the Rahul Dravid-led Royals, to set up the title clash against Chennai Super Kings Sunday also at the Eden.
“What’s the use of a batsman scoring 50 odd if the others do not contribute. It’s a team game and we hope we will perform as a team,” said Smith adding that the team was not under pressure despite losing out in the first playoff against Chennai.
“I think it’s them, (Royals) who are under pressure. We have beaten them earlier and they will have to beat us to get to the finals,” said the Caribbean batsman.
Smith also expressed his disappointment at not making big scores despite getting decent starts and rued on his failure to take his team home against Chennai in the playoff despite putting them in a winning position.
Chasing 193 to win, Mumbai were in the hunt so long as Smith was there who scored a blistering 28 ball 68. Mumbai could not recover after his dismissal in the 9the over and eventually folded up for 144 and losing the game by 48 runs.