The thrill to adorn the lion-crested cap was quite evident on batting legend Sachin Tendulkar’s face. The record-breaking batsman will bat for Mumbai after a gap of three years — against Railways in the Ranji Trophy opener at the Wankhede Stadium tomorrow.
Tendulkar chose to play the Ranji opener as a launch pad for the four-Test series against England starting November 15 in Ahmedabad.
Tendulkar said he was eagerly looking forward to the Ranji game and the Test series. “I am very excited and thrilled to play the Ranji Trophy. It is always special to be back at the Wankhede Stadium with my Mumbai teammates. I am eagerly waiting for the first match. I am also very much looking forward to the England Test series,” Tendulkar told MiD DAY yesterday after a good three-hour practice session at the Wankhede Stadium where the second India-England Test will be played from November 23.
Tendulkar has been slugging it out for 90 to 120 minutes daily in the nets since Monday in the build-up to the long home season.
Yesterday, veteran Mumbai pacers Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar bowled to him. He also faced left-arm spinners Iqbal Abdulla and Ankit Chavan, who bowled to the master batsman with a definite plan.
Tendulkar last played for Mumbai in the 2008-09 Ranji Trophy final against Uttar Pradesh.
He first played a home series against England in 1992-93 when Mohammed Azharuddin’s India demolished Graham Gooch’s team 3-0. The third and final Test of that series was held in Mumbai.