The wait for Sachin Tendulkar's maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) appearance is finally set to end. The master batsman confirmed on Monday that he would be opening the batting with Sanath Jayasuriya when Mumbai host Chennai at the Wankhede stadium on Wednesday.
"Yes. I will be playing on the 14th," Tendulkar, who was out of action after the first Test against South Africa in March, said after batting for almost two hours in the nets at the Wankhede on Monday evening.
"We have really worked hard. It was a really tough period in between but the phyio (Dr) Nitin (Patel) and the masseur Nick have worked hard. It's looking very good and I am feeling very positive about playing the day after tomorrow," he said.
Since Tendulkar, the Mumbai team's icon, is available he will also take over the reins of the team from Shaun Pollock who led in the last four matches.
"I will be captaining," Tendulkar said. "Shaun was a makeshift captain and he has done a terrific job. The other senior players have also contributed well. And it's not about who the captain is. It's all about helping each other.
"And that's what the team has been doing. We'll continue to do that."
And Tendulkar, who spent all of Mumbai's seven matches in the dugout so far - something he's not used to - did mention that it was disappointing to be away from the action.
"It was disappointing to miss the two Tests against South Africa and then the IPL," Tendulkar, who carried a right groin injury for the most part of the tri-series in Australia before aggravating it during the Chennai Test, said.
"The first half of my rehab was all about rest. I was not allowed to do anything else. It was followed by strengthening of the muscles and working out (in the gym) a bit."
Tendulkar believed the team competed well even when they were on a losing streak. "I think the first couple of matches were very close. At the crunch moment, they went the opposition's way," Tendulkar said.
"In the third and fourth, we couldn't compete much. But we have been doing well since."