London: Exactly six months and 18 days after he had called time on his illustrious career, Sachin Tendulkar will once again step out in white flannels on the hallowed Lord’s turf leading the MCC XI against Shane Warne-led World XI in a bi-centenary match here Saturday.
By his own admission, the world’s highest run-getter in both Tests and ODIs has been enjoying the retired life and is still to find the “middle of the bat” during the knocking sessions for the past 10 days.
“I have enjoyed my time with the family. I started practising 10 days ago and it is nice to be back in the gear and hitting a few balls. I’m still trying to find the middle of the bat,” a smiling Tendulkar quipped during a pre-match conference at Lord’s.
Asked if he has missed being in action, Tendulkar replied, “I have been watching but I haven’t been feeling like getting in the net.”
The exhibition one-dayer celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Home of Cricket.
Tendulkar, who first came to Lord’s as a teenager, fondly recollected, “It is always a special feeling, whenever I come here it is special — the crowd and the atmosphere is fantastic, no matter how many times you come here.”
He added he was looking forward to the match where he will be playing alongside his long-time teammate Rahul Dravid, the legendary Brian Lara and Australian pace great Brett Lee. Warne’s Rest of the World team comprises Adam Gilchrist, Muttiah Muralidharan and Shahid Afridi.
“The idea is to celebrate the occasion and give something special to the spectators, compete in the right spirit and compete as hard as possible,” Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar’s long time on-field rival and opposition captain Warne was more keen on talking about discarded Engand star Kevin Pietersen’s chances of making a comeback in the national squad. “KP is an absolute match-winner,” Warne said.