Mumbai Indians hope for Sachin Tendulkar's comeback against Kings XI Punjab

Mumbai Indians have struggled to put up a good opening partnership in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar AFP

Mumbai: Apr 19, 2012

Raising hopes about his availability for the rest of IPL season V after a lengthy absence from the event due of a finger injury sustained a fortnight ago, Sachin Tendulkar today practised for about one-and-a-half hours at the nets ahead of Mumbai Indians’ next game against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.

Tendulkar faced regular bowlers in the MI ranks like Pragyan Ojha in a serious net session and did not appear to be in any difficulty while playing a number of lofted shots at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra Kurla Complex Ground.

After hurting his index finger in the IPL opener against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on April 4, Tendulkar had missed MI’s subsequent four games that had affected the team’s balance at the top of the order.

He missed the games against Pune Warriors, Deccan Chargers, Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils and the result was MI could not get off to the start they were looking for and slumped to defeats in two out of the four ties.

Tendulkar started practising against throw-downs on April 14 prior to the home tie against the Daredevils but did not feel comfortable enough to take the field on April 16 at the Wankhede Stadium.

The Mumbai Indians were shot out for a paltry 92, their second-lowest ever IPL score and the lowest by any team this season, which the Daredevils easily overhauled.

“Of course, it will be nice to have Sachin Tendulkar back. I’m sure he will be back by the next game if nothing goes wrong by the net session. If he is batting with any of the foreigners it makes it easier for them to score runs. He can take a lot of pressure from the other partner,” team captain Harbhajan Singh had said after the humiliating defeat against the Daredevils. (PTI)