India's master batsman Sachin Tendulkar and star bowler Zaheer Khan got Mumbai Indians' Indian Premier League campaign into top gear as they joined the training camp in Mumbai on Wednesday, ahead of the third season.
Tendulkar, who is leading the team, and his deputy Zaheer had a brief interaction with the players, comprising mainly young domestic players from India, and the sole foreigner in Essex all-rounder Graham Napier.
The youngsters then displayed their skills in a practice Twenty20 game and were keenly watched by Tendulkar, Zaheer and head coach Robin Singh at the Brabourne stadium. Team owners Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita were also present to keep an eye on the proceedings.
The Mumbai side kicked off its preparations with a first phase preparation-cum-conditioning camp ten days back. They will play a series of practice games to identify the top domestic players for the upcoming season.
Robin, along with director of cricket TA Sekhar, assistant coach Paras Mhambrey and fielding coach Jonty Rhodes put the young players through their strides.
"I am impressed with the way they are shaping up, especially Ambati Rayudu, Shikar Dhawan, Saurav Tiwari and R Satish," commented Sekhar.
Mumbai Indians are hoping to improve on their poor performances in the previous editions, which saw them finish fifth and seventh respectively out of eight teams in the last two seasons.
The third season of the IPL kicks off in Mumbai on March 12 when champions Deccan Chargers take on Kolkata Knight Riders.