Harbhajan hopeful of Tendulkar playing against Pune
MI skipper Harbahajan Singh sounded hopeful that their talismaic opener Sachin Tendulkar would be fit enough to take the field against Pune Warriors today.
The Mumbai Indians' skipper, Harbhajan Singh, on Thursday said that his side hopes Sachin Tendulkar is available to play their Indian Premier League (IPL) game against Pune Warriors India here on Friday as the x-ray report did not show anything wrong with his injured hand.
"Nothing has come in the x-ray. We are hopeful he will play tomorrow [Friday]," Harbhajan said at the pre-match press conference on Thursday. Tendulkar got hit on his right index finger when he fended at a short, rising ball from the Chennai Super Kings' speedster Doug Bollinger in the IPL 5 opener in Chennai on Thursday and retired hurt. Continue reading below
Talking about the match against the Sourav Ganguly-led PWI, Harbhajan said their opponents were a good outfit even without India's World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh, who is recovering after taking treatment for cancer.
"Pune Warriors [India] are a very good side and we don't want to take anything for granted. Without Yuvraj, they are obviously slightly less [strong]. But they still have the likes of Ganguly, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey. We just want to concentrate [on] what we have and what we can do," the off-spinner said.
Harbhajan said Mumbai's eight-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings was a good beginning but the team has to move forward. "Always good to win your first game, but that is over. We want to move ahead. Like in Chennai, we need to start well and hopefully finish the game here tomorrow [Friday] on the same note," he said.
Stating that captaining the team was challenging, Harbhajan again thanked Tendulkar, whom he replaced at the helm after the champion batsman relinquished the job before the start of the tournament, for the support he has been giving him right through his career.
"His support has been immense. Without his support, it would have been difficult [to captain team]. He's always there to guide us whether he's [the] captain or not. He's always been there for all of us, not just [for the] IPL but throughout my career, whenever I needed him, or for that matter any of the senior guys like Rahul Dravid, Srinath and Anil Kumble," the Mumbai skipper said.
Harbhajan was happy to have found an attacking opener like Richard Levi of South Africa who made his IPL debut on Wednesday to partner Tendulkar at the top.
"It's nice to have a guy like Richard Levi who can give you a brisk start. In T20 cricket that's the kind of start you look for. In the first six overs, you look to get as many [runs] as you can. It becomes easy for the middle order then to bat on. He is a very exciting cricketer," he noted.
Asked about his team's chances in the tournament, Harbhajan said the process of playing as a single unit was the most important thing to do. "We have the team to play well and as a unit [we] would strive to continue to do well. All the other teams are good and competitive. We want to be humble in our process, stay focused and enjoy our cricket. If we do that, we will get the result we are looking for," Harbhajan concluded.