Mumbai:A decision whether Mumbai Indians' pace spearhead Shaun Pollock will play in the crucial IPL tie against Punjab King's XI will be taken only after his fitness is assessed on Wednesday, captain Sachin Tendulkar said.
"He's feeling very well today but a final assessment about his fitness will be done tomorrow before the match," Tendulkar said at the customary pre-match media briefing.
The retired South African all rounder, who has played a stellar role in the team's resurrection from no-hopers to a semi final contender, did not play in the previous tie against Deccan Chargers at Hyderabad because of a back strain but was seen at the practice session on Tuesday.
Tendulkar said though the team will miss the services of another all rounder who has also played a key role, West Indian Dwayne Bravo, it has been bolstered by the arrival of South African pacer Andre Nel and West Indian all rounder Dwayne Smith.
"Dwayne Bravo had to go back and both Dwayne Smith and Andre Nel are very talented cricketers. We will decide on whom to include after another look at the wicket tomorrow after it gets baked under the sun," the champion batsman said.
Tendulkar did not want to comment on how many wins the team needs to enter the semis from the position they are in currently (12 points from ten ties).
"Even when we were winning the last six ties, our plan was not to look too far ahead but take them one match at a time. We will continue to do so," he said.
About his own confidence level, Tendulkar said it's been improving match by match since his return from injury.
"My confidence level is improving match by match. I am feeling much better," said the Mumbai Indians' captain who missed the first seven ties because of a groin injury.
About the opposition and, in particular their captain Yuvraj Singh, Tendulkar maintained that his team never takes anyone lightly and is always cautious not to be overconfident.
"We have not taken any team for granted. We are confident but are cautious not to be overconfident. They are a good side and Yuvraj is a very talented player. He's a player who can change the game in a few overs.
"In the last few games, we have batted and bowled well. It's not easy to play a different team every second or third day. Our bowlers have done brilliantly and so have our batsmen over the last few games. This is where the support staff come in and they have been very good," he said.
Tendulkar said Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya has been giving the team's think tank tips about every Lankan player they have come across in the opposition ranks in the tournament.
"Jayasuriya has talked a lot about Sri Lankan players (in rival teams)," he said.
Though he has not seen young Australian opener Shaun Marsh bat, Tendulkar said the team has viewed the tapes of the Punjab XI opener's batting in other matches for working out strategies to contain the in-form batsman.
Asked whether he will roll his arm, Tendulkar said there were other competent bowlers in his team to do the job.
"I have come out of injury. We have bowlers who have been doing well. If I feel I should bowl I will take the call on it," he added.