India tour of Pakistan in 1989 marked the birth of Sachin Tendulkar’s international career. Sachin faced the likes of Waqar Younis, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram, and managed to make a lasting impression on his debut tour.
Sachin displayed a tremendous amount of valour after being hit on the nose by Waqar, still resuming his knock unfazed. Also, during a friendly game, his four consecutive sixes against Abdul Qadir is a part of his folklore.
Sachin was hailed as India’ teenage prodigy who already held huge reputations in school level cricket. Along with Vinod Kambli, Sachin hogged all the headlines with a monumental partnership of 664 runs. Both Mumbaikars notched up their respective triple tons in the process.
Now, Waqar has opened up to his first memory of Sachin during the series where the two youngsters impressed on their first international series.
“About Sachin, the entire India Under-19 team, they were just raving about him, saying how good that little kid is. He’s only a schoolboy, scoring triple-centuries at school. Who scores triple-centuries at school? Even scoring a century at school is an amazing thing,” Waqar said on The Greatest Rivalry podcast.
“We always knew there was this young kid coming on the block who was going to be amazing. At first look, he didn’t really give me the impression that he’s going to be the great Sachin Tendulkar, what he is today. What he has done over the years is amazing, on the field, off the field. At that particular time, I didn’t realise he was going to be such a big name in cricket. But his hard work paid off,” he added.
“The first Test was at Karachi and I got him early. I think he scored 15. He played a couple of really classy on-drives and straight drives in that 15. He didn’t score much after that in that series but the fifty you were mentioning which he scored in Sialkot, that was on a green top wicket,” the former Pakistan bowler turned coach remembered.
“We wanted a result. We wanted the series to have a result and we produced a real green-topper. He came in and got hit on the nose very early in the innings. For a 16-year-old kid, he looked pale at the time, but very determined. I remember [Navjot Singh] Sidhu was batting with him and they both took five, seven minutes and [then] he was ready to go. Then he played that knock of fifty which really showed his class. We knew he was going to be something very special by then,” concluded Waqar.