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Enjoying the greens: Sachin

Sachin Tendulkar

Calcutta: Sachin Tendulkar isn’t missing playing competitive cricket. The maestro is with the Mumbai Indians as an icon in IPL VII.

The defending champions didn’t have a good start losing all their five matches in the UAE leg. On Wednesday, Mumbai Indians crashed to their fifth defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai.

Despite being in a good position at one stage, they lost by 15 runs in their chase of 173. Kieron Pollard’s brilliant 78 off 48 balls went in vain as none of the other batsmen, except for Ambati Rayudu, managed to match his efforts.

Sachin feels batting holds the key to their fortunes in the tournament.

“I think we will have to bat better, and this is something that we haven’t been able to do... We will have to score big runs and for that we will have to string together partnerships,” Sachin said on TV.

“Confidence is very important and it has a huge effect on the team. If you have a couple of guys who are hitting the ball well, it can have a huge positive effect on the dugout as well...”

Sachin, though, was all praise for Dale Steyn’s opening spell of 3-0-16-1 in Wednesday’s encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad. “Steyn has bowled really fast and beautifully, but then he is known for this.”

Come July 5, Sachin will lead the MCC XI against Shane Warne’s Rest of the World in the Lord’s bicentenary (50-over) game. Sachin can’t imagine even taking an exhibition match lightly and the 41-year-old is already focused.

“I am playing the bicentenary match for the MCC. So I will have to start practising now because I need at least two months to try and figure out where the centre of the bat is,” he quispped.

Quizzed if he was itching to wear the cricket gear and play while watching the match from the dug-out, Sachin replied, “No.”

“So far I haven’t felt that I am missing competitive cricket while watching these matches… I have spent some time with my family, played some other sports like table tennis, badminton and golf with my friends.

“I have played some golf here in Dubai as well at a golf club, which happens to be in its second year. In fact, this (Wednesday) morning they gave me an honorary membership. So things are going fantastic for me now.”

Is he enjoying golf? “Even though I don’t have a golf partner yet, I am enjoying the sport. Today morning I played some golf and I played decently… I felt that there is some hope for me in golf.”