Sachin says he has two days to get in shape for IPL match

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Mumbai, Apr 17 (UNI) Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, captain of the Mumbai Indians team, today dispelled rumours about him being doubtful for their opening IPL match against Bangalore Royal Challengers on Sunday.

He said there were two more days left for him to get into shape to lead his team at the Wankhede Stadium here.

''I am following the fitness regime given to me by the physio.

There are two more days for the match. No decision has been taken as yet (whether he will play or not). It will be decided before April 20,'' said the champion batsman at the team launch.

Tendulkar has not played any competitive cricket since being ruled out of the last two Test matches against South Africa after aggravating an old groin injury. He could not take part in the Olympic Torch relay event in New Delhi for the same reason.

Team coach Lalchand Rajput announced that off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been appointed vice-captain of the team.

Also present at the official launch of the squad were guest of honour Sunil Gavaskar and Nita Ambani, wife of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, the franchise owner of the team.

Tendulkar said surprise was the key element in Twenty20 matches. ''The key factor in Twenty20 (matches) is introduction of surprise element and we will have quite a few of these planned (for our rivals),'' he said.

The 27 players, barring the absent Lasith Malinga and Loots Bosman, and support staff, were applied ''tilak'' mixed with mud from Tendulkar's nursery Shivaji Park ground in Dadar.

Tendulkar turned nostalgic and said he could never forget Shivaji Park and the way he had been taken around the ground and other places on a scooter by boyhood mentor Ramakant Achrekar.

Achrekar was specially present on the occasion to apply ''tilak'' on the forehead of all Mumbai Indians players.

''I have grown up in that area and can never forget those days. I used to be taken around by Sir (Achrekar) on his scooter for playing matches. I would not have reached where I am without those happenings,'' he said.

Tendulkar, who skipped last year's World Twenty20 Championship won by India, said he had limited experience of playing the shortest form of the game when representing Mumbai last year in domestic cricket.


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