Players whose first and last batting partner was Sachin Tendulkar

Here we look at the players who had Sachin Tendulkar as their first and last partner in a format.

Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly
Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Sachin Tendulkar’s International career of 24 years was spanned across four different decades. This meant Sachin witnessed many players debuting and also retiring during his long career. Not many Indian players made it big whose career lasted inside Tendulkar’s International career span.

Many players were lucky enough to bat for the first or for the final time at this level with Tendulkar on the other end. But only a few of them had Sachin as their first and last partner at the highest level.

Here we look at the players who had Sachin Tendulkar as their first and last partner in a format:

4. Subroto Banerjee – Test cricket:

The Bengal pacer Subroto Banerjee’s International career lasted little over a year – December 1991 to December 1992. In this period, he featured in six ODI matches and only one Test – against Australia in Sydney, 1992.

He picked up three wickets in Australia’s first innings to limit them to 313. India took the lead thanks to a double century from Ravi Shastri and an unbeaten ton by Tendulkar. Banerjee walked to bat at No.10 and added 16 runs with Sachin who turned out to be his only partner in Test cricket.

3. Vijay Dahiya – Test cricket:

19 ODI appearances and two Test matches were part of Wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya’s International career that was spread across the 2000-01 season. Both his Test appearances came during the 2000 home Test series against Zimbabwe. Dahiya was slated to bat at No.7 and didn’t get a chance to bat on his Test debut in Delhi as India lost only 4 and 3 wickets respectively during the 7-wicket victory.

Dahiya did get a chance to bat in his 2nd Test appearance in Nagpur as he walked to bat at No.8 when India were 601/6 and Sachin Tendulkar batting on 195.

The keeper-batsman faced five balls and picked up two singles before India declared the innings score after Sachin brought up his double ton. The innings turned out to Dahiya’s lone innings in Test cricket and Tendulkar was his only partner of the format.

2. Sujith Somasunder – International / ODI Cricket:

Karnataka’s Sujith Somasunder got picked for the 1996 Titan Cup hosted by India. His unbeaten century during the Challenger Trophy got into eyes of Sachin Tendulkar who became the Indian captain in 1996 only. Somasunder made his debut in the opening match of the Titan Cup against South Africa hosted by Hyderabad’s LB Stadium. The right-handed batsman opened alongside his skipper during India’s chase of 262.

Sachin departed for 11 off 8 balls while Sujith was runout for a laboured 31-ball 9 after involved in a mix up with his state-mate Rahul Dravid. India lost the game by 47 runs after they collapsed from 171/4 to 214/10 in 46.3 overs.

Somasunder got a chance to play at his home venue in Bangalore during India’s 2nd game of the tournament. He opened the batting with Sachin yet again against Australia in pursuit of 216. India chased down the target with seven balls to spare after losing as many as eight wickets.

Sachin played a crucial role in the chase with his 88-run knock but the local boys Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble stole the limelight with their unbeaten 52-run partnership off 40 balls for the 9th wicket. Sourav Ganguly, who batted in the middle-order in both games, was made the opener by leaving out Somasunder. The Karnataka batsman never featured in any International game as Tendulkar turned out to be his first and also the last partner at this level.

1. Sourav Ganguly – International Cricket and ODI Cricket:

Sourav Ganguly’s Test cricket began in 1996 post the World Cup hosted by the sub-continent. But he made his ODI debut back before the 1992 World Cup itself during India’s tour of Australia in 1991-92. Ganguly’s aggressive hundred in the Final of Deodhar Trophy 1990-91 helped him to be picked to the national side.

Sourav warmed the bench for two months on the Australian tour before he made his debut against West Indies in Brisbane. Ganguly batted at No.6 to join Sachin Tendulkar at the crease after Indians were four wickets down for only 35 runs.

Sourav spent 33 minutes scoring 3 runs off 13 balls before he fell at the score of 62. Tendulkar went on to score 77 but India’s total of 191 wasn’t enough to secure them a win. Ganguly’s career came to an end in the 2008 home series against Australia.

During the final Test in Nagpur, the left-hander scored 85 during India’s first innings. India took a lead of 86 runs and were 163/4 in their 2nd essay when Sourav walked to bat for one last time in his career.

Sachin was on the non-striker’s end while Ganguly faced his first ball of the innings. It turned out to be his career’s last ball as the leading edge ended up in the hands of the bowler Jason Krejza.

Sachin was also Ganguly’s last partner in the ODI format. The former Indian skipper was dismissed for 5 runs while opening with Tendulkar in the 2007 Gwalior ODI against Pakistan. His ODI career ended abruptly as Rohit Sharma replaced the veteran in the last game of the series and was never picked in the format again.