Mumbai Indians mentor Sachin Tendulkar's presence at Wankhede Stadium meant a lot to the spectators. As the batting legend entered the ground in his MI attire, the crowd gave him the familiar 'Sachin, Sachin' welcome.
Mumbai Indians mentor Sachin Tendulkar and Anant Ambani, son of MI owner Mukesh & Nita Ambani, ahead of their match against Rising Pune Supergiants at Wankhede on Saturday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Tendulkar straight to the centre where he had a chat with his former India teammates — Ravi Shastri (India's Team Director last week, now back to his commentary role) and match referee Javagal Srinath. After their 10-minute discussion, Tendulkar tapped the good-length spot and checked out the bounce and hardness of the track. Before leaving the pitch to join MI coach Ricky Ponting, Tendulkar chatted with groundsmen and allowed them to take some selfies with him.
All in vain for Buttler and Hardik
Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants teams entered the Wankhede Stadium a good one and a half hours prior to scheduled start. While the rest of their Mumbai Indians teammates went out in groups to do their fielding drills, England batsman Jos Buttler and India all-rounder Hardik Pandya walked to the pitch armed with their bats for some shadow practice at the far end and pavilion end respectively. Buttler indulged in some straight drives, on-drives and off-drives while Pandya executed some imaginary pull shots and lofted drives.
Later on, both went to a net where they took throw downs and tried almost every cricketing shot in the book for around 15 minutes. However, all their labour went in vain thanks to Pune's Mitchell Marsh. Buttler's attempted flick resulted in a catch to R Ashwin at slip — a duck on his IPL debut —while Pandya's top edge was picked up by MS Dhoni behind the stumps.
Pandya scored a 11-ball 9. Needless to say, the Western Australian was thrilled.
Stumper Sharad Hazare's woes
Former Mumbai cricketers still have to run around for their complimentary passes in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) office at Wankhede Stadium. We spotted 70-year-old former Mumbai wicketkeeper Sharad Hazare, who played 44 first-class matches in the 1960s and 1970s, waiting for his pass. “I had to come to collect my ticket, but I don't know whether I'll get it,” said Hazare prior to Saturday's match.