Youngsters can learn a lot from Sachin, Jayasuriya: Uthappa

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Mumbai, Apr 16 (UNI) Robin Uthappa, who has a penchant for hard-hitting knocks lower down the order in ODIs, believes youngsters in the Mumbai Indians would learn a lot by rubbing shoulders with legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Shaun Pollock and Sanath Jayasuriya in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

''It will be exciting and a lot of fun. We will learn a lot from the top international players of the team. Sachin and Sanath can also bowl well and we have a lot of all rounders. At the moment I don't see any weaknesses in the team,'' he said at a function here to announce Master Card as the franchise team's founding sponsor.

Left arm pace bowler Ashish Nehra, who is out of top flight cricket barring an appearance here and there in the domestic cricket, said he was happy to be back in the national spotlight as part of the Tendulkar-led team in the inaugural IPL.

''It's good to be back after 18 months after not having played much cricket (during the period). I am pretty excited,'' said the lanky pacer who is remembered for his great spell of bowling against England in the 2003 World Cup at Port Elizabeth.

The injury-prone Delhi Ranji cricketer later went out of the reckoning and is now striving to get back into the Indian team, which has been hit hard by injuries and loss of form of its pace attack.

Former South African skipper Pollock suggested a local player, who knows the other youngsters in the team, should lead the team if skipper Sachin Tendulkar remains unfit for the the first tie against Bangalore Royals on April 20.

''It's not for us to decide who should captain (if Tendulkar is not available due to his groin injury that forced him out of the last two Tests in the recent series against South Africa). The local player would know the young guys. But by the 20th, we will be ready to go,'' he said.

Former Sri Lanka captain Jayasuriya recalled his encounters against Tendulkar as a 17-year-old at the beginning of both their international careers.

''He was a 17-year-old when we played against him and even at that stage, we all realised he will be a great player and he went on to prove it. I am very happy to play under him and with him,'' he said.

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