‘I was so embarrassed that I never sledged him again’ – Saqlain Mushtaq recalls a sledging duel against Sachin Tendulkar in 1997
Mushtaq also revealed that Tendulkar was probably the best when it came to reading his 'doosra'.
Updated - Apr 24, 2020 7:47 pm
Sachin Tendulkar is regarded as one of the most successful cricketers to have braced the game. Impeccable technique and gritty on-field temperament– the Master Blaster started hogging the headlines after his international breakthrough due to his consistent performances. In a career spanning over two decades, Tendulkar was involved in duels with many bowlers.
Many bowlers including Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shane Warne had a tough time while dismissing the ‘Little Master’. Tendulkar’s staggering record speaks for his worth in international cricket. In an illustrious career spanning over two decades, the right-hander amassed 18426 runs in ODIs and 15921 runs in Tests.
The Indian legend is celebrated his 47th birthday on 24 April 2020 and on the occasion, Pakistan veteran Saqlain Mushtaq many instances involving him and Tendulkar. Mushtaq revealed that there was one sledging incident which left him deeply embarrassed.
During the Sahara Cup in Canada, Saqlain thought it would be a good idea to sledge Tendulkar. However, Tendulkar, in response, came up to Mushtaq and asked– Why are you misbehaving with me when I never misbehaved with you? The Pakistan veteran was left embarrassed post the incident as he didn’t know what to say after Tendulkar’s reply.
“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,” Saqlain said as quoted by India Today.
“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. Thereafter, even when he was smashing me all over, I never thought of sledging him,” added Saqlain Mushtaq.
‘Sachin’s eye was razor-sharp’ – Saqlain Mushtaq
Mushtaq also rated his rivalry with Tendulkar and opined that he was successful in dismissing the right-hander multiple times. However, was also smashed all around the ground by Tendulkar at times. Mushtaq also revealed that Tendulkar was probably the best when it came to reading his ‘doosra’.
“The eye is god gifted. Every batsman sees things differently, some pick faster than others. Sachin’s eye was razor-sharp,” said the former Pakistan international.
“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 paaji also,” added Mushtaq.