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The Mumbai team preparing for the new season at the MCA ground had a surprise guest on Wednesday afternoon.
Dressed in a black tee, cream cargos and sporting a cap, Sachin Tendulkar made heads turn when he dropped in at the nets being supervised by coach Chandrakant Pandit. Tendulkar was invited to give the team a pep talk ahead of the Ranji Trophy season that begins next month.
One of the Mumbai team members said that Tendulkar talked to the players about the importance of having a good start to the tournament.
‘”It is important to start and do well at the beginning as it sets the tone for the rest of the season,'” the player quoted Tendulkar as saying.
Last year, the 40-time Ranji champions were outplayed at home in the first game of the season by minnows Jammu & Kashmir. What made it worse was that the defeat came at their home ground — Wankhede, which they refer to as Fortress.
That loss heavily dented Mumbai’s reputation. They had a rocky ride before bouncing back to qualify for the semifinals where they lost to Karnataka. The Buchi Babu winners had also gone for a boot camp to Khandala recently.
According to the player, Tendulkar said such boot camps are great help.
‘”We used to do camps like these. These camps are great considering it helps players bond well and have a great camaraderie. It helps players play as a team,'” the Mumbai player quoted Tendulkar as saying.
Tendulkar also spoke the team members individually and replied to their batting-related queries.