Haryana v Mumbai, Ranji Trophy, Lahli

'Mixed feelings' in Mumbai dressing room - Zaheer

Abhishek Purohit in Lahli

October 26, 2013

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Zaheer Khan and Sachin Tendulkar train ahead of their opening match in the Ranji Trophy, Lahli, October 26, 2013
Zaheer Khan will lead Mumbai in what is expected to be Sachin Tendulkar's final Ranji match © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

What looks to be Sachin Tendulkar's final domestic match is evoking "mixed feelings" in the Mumbai dressing room, their captain, Zaheer Khan, has said. Zaheer added that while Mumbai were lucky to have Tendulkar for their Ranji Trophy opener against Haryana, they were also emotional about the farewell.

"It is a special game for all of us," Zaheer said. "The atmosphere is very festive. Everyone is excited to be seeing Sachin in the Ranji Trophy for the last time. As a team we are lucky to have him here. In a way it is like his farewell game. It is emotional and exciting and there are mixed feelings in the camp. The emotion and the occasion will help everyone put in that extra bit to perform.

"He is enjoying the game as he was when he started. It is very evident. We are happy to have him around. The way preparations are going, it's going to help him play those last two games [Tests against West Indies] as well."

Zaheer, who began his comeback recently against West Indies A, said he was pleased with how he was progressing, and that the focus was on regaining match fitness. "The couple of matches I played for India A were a good opportunity to get some overs under the belt. The rhythm is good, and as I played more it was coming along and things were falling in place.

"The more I bowl in match situations, the more it will help me. It's very important for me to get match fitness going. I am controlling the things I can control, making sure the routine is good, and keeping things on track. In terms of my follow-up on the fitness, a routine has been in place which I have been following for three and a half months."

Ajay Jadeja, Zaheer's Haryana counterpart, had remarked that one need not go all the way to France, like Zaheer had, to improve one's fitness, given the facilities as well as the quiet available in places like Lahli. Zaheer replied that it depended on one's perspective. "It's important that you put in the hard work in training. You can do it anywhere. It's just that sometimes you need a change, try new things, and look at things differently. The idea behind doing that [going to France] was completely different for me and I'm happy with the way things have gone. It's about how an individual looks at things."

With Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma on India duty, Zaheer is leading the side against Haryana. He said that he was trying to enjoy the temporary responsibility. "It's all about helping youngsters, keeping everyone together and making sure that everyone is enjoying each others company. Excited about the new role, even though it is not for long."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (October 27, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

Ajay Jadeja playing cricket.....AGAIN! It seems surprising!

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (October 27, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

I like classy 100 plus then dull 400............

Posted by   on (October 27, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

tendulkar should make first 400 of his life

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

Ajay Jadeja's "comeback" seems to be making a joke of a solemn occasion!

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

Ajay Jadeja; The moth balls seem to be sticking out on your cricket gear and uniform. Please dust them of.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Great to see, First game for Zak to lead and last first class game for Sach ...

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Is AJAY JADEJA captaining haryana :( :( so sad, when ajit agarkar retires to give youngsters a chance and jadeja almost 43 playing

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