Arguably one of the greatest batsmen the cricketing world has ever seen, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, inspired millions of youngsters across the globe to enter in this extraordinary sport. The Mumbai-born cricketer had a tremendous career. When he decided to hang his boots, he was the leading run-scorer in Tests as well as in the ODI format. The ‘Master Blaster’ also finished as the highest century scorer in both Test and ODI cricket.
But what went through his head when he debuted in cricket and that too against the mighty Pakistan team which had bowlers like Waseem Akram, Imran Khan and Abdul Qadir. The ‘God of Cricket’ revealed the interesting story during a candid chat with former England skipper Nasser Hussain.
“Five years after playing competitive cricket, you started playing for India as a 16-year-old boy in Pakistan against the likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Abdul Qadir, and Waqar Younis. Were you ready?” asked Nasser during ‘Nasser meets Sachin’ episode on Skysports.
Sachin said that he had no idea what was happening as he had never experienced anything like that in his life before.
“I was clueless; I have to admit that. I played the first Test as if I was playing a school match,” said Sachin.
“Wasim and Waqar were bowling quick, and they were delivering short balls and all sorts of intimidating things they could do. I had never experienced anything like that, so the first outing wasn’t a pleasant one.”
Sachin stated that when he got out cheaply, he felt terrible and almost had tears in his eyes.
“Occasionally, I got beaten by their pace and bounce, and when I got out on 15, I felt embarrassed when I walked back to the dressing room. I was like ‘what have you done, why did you play like this’ and then when I reached the dressing room, I went straight to the bathroom, and I was almost in tears.”
The batting genius disclosed that he was upset with the way he performed and felt like it was the first and last game of his career.
“I felt I was completely out of place. I looked at myself and questioned myself and said: ‘looks like this is gonna be your first and the last outing’. I felt that I’m not good enough to play at this level. I was upset and feeling low.”
Sachin said the teammates realised what I was feeling. He added that he had a chat with Ravi Shastri and the latter’s one advice changed his mindset completely.
“The teammates realised. I still remember the conversation I had with Ravi Shastri. Ravi said, ‘you played as if it was a school match. You are playing against the best bowlers; you need to respect their ability and their skill.”
“Then I told Ravi that I got beaten by their (Pakistan bowlers) pace. To which Ravi said: ‘That happens to quite a few, you don’t worry. You just look to go out and spend half an hour in the middle and then you will get adjusted to their pace, and everything will fall into place after that’.”
Sachin said that he followed Ravi’s advice in the next game at Faisalabad and it worked like magic. Sachin expressed that he was able to spend time which raised his confidence, and he ended up scoring a half-century.
“When I was picked to play in the second Test at Faisalabad, the only thing on my mind was, I’m not gonna look at the scoreboard. I will only look at the clock and not worry about scoring runs. I batted for half an hour, and I felt really comfortable and I scored 59 runs in that match and after that things started changing,” added Sachin.