Just a few hours down the line, Sachin Tendulkar turned 47, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, he didn’t celebrate his birthday. However, his fans across the globe recalled the famous India versus Australia ODI game held at Sharjah when the cricketing world saw the desert storm which was later replaced as Sachin storm.
On the special day, Sachin demolished the Aussie bowling attack at Coca-Cola cup final in 1998. He smashed 134 off 131 balls and helped India to register a memorable victory over Australia.
Apart from fans, Pakistan legend Saqlain Mushtaq too rolled over some memories on Sachin’s birthday. The genius spinner revealed an incident related to sledging, which left him extremely embarrassed.
The episode took place during the Sahara Cup tournament in Canada when Saqlain thought to sledge Sachin. The veteran bowler said that he was new and thought it’d be useful to sledge the ‘Master Blaster’, but the latter came up to him and asked why was he doing this? Saqlain stated that those words left him embarrassed, and he had no answer to Sachin’s question.
“I was new when I sledged him for the first time. If I recall correctly, it was the 1997 edition. Sachin quietly came up to me and said ‘I never misbehaved with you, why are you misbehaving with me’? I got so embarrassed that I did not know what to say to him,” said Saqlain as quoted by IT.
Saqlain expressed that he apologised to Sachin and post that event he never sledged the batting phenom, even when the Indian Maestro took him to the cleaners.
“He said to me ‘I rate you high as a person and player’. I was so embarrassed that I never sledged him again. I can’t tell you what I said to him, but I apologised to him after the game. After that, even when he was smashing me all over, I never thought of sledging him,” added Saqlain.
The 43-year-old also dropped his view regarding Sachin’s batting and said that he was probably the best batsman who was able to read the ‘Doosra’ – a type of delivery by an off-spin bowler which spins in the opposite direction to an off-break. Saqlain also hailed Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Azharuddin as quality batsmen.
“The eye is god gifted. Every batsman sees things differently; some pick faster than others. Sachin’s eye was razor-sharp. Many times, even before I took my stride, he knew what I was going to ball, whether it was a Doosra, topspin or conventional off-spin, his foot positioning was just flawless. Rahul (Dravid) too was very good, Azhar (Azharuddin) paaji also,” concluded the former Pakistani international.