Sachin Tendulkar volunteered to bat at four for Virender Sehwag to open: Ajay Ratra

Sachin Tendulkar volunteered to bat at four for Virender Sehwag to open: Ajay Ratra

Sachin scored 2,059 runs at number four in 65 ODIs with a top score 140* against Kenya.

Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly
Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. (Photo source: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar’s record as the opener of the national team were second to none. He along with Sourav Ganguly went on to torment a number of opponents in his career, which spanned over two decades. Though in Test cricket, he mostly batted in the middle order, in limited-overs cricket, the Master Blaster will be remembered as one of the best in the business.

But even in ODIs, Sachin had to come in the middle order. Ajay Ratra, the former Indian wicketkeeper, said how Tendulkar agreed to bat at number four as Virender Sehwag had to open the batting. Ratra also reckons that the credit for sending Sehwag to open should be shared between Tendulkar and Ganguly, the former Indian captain.

Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly should share the credit

“Sachin was doing so well as an opener at that time but Sehwag had to open. So, Sachin offered to bat at No.4. Sehwag then opened with Dada (Sourav Ganguly) for that left and right combination. If Sachin hadn’t agreed then Viru probably would have had to bat lower.

“He wouldn’t have got the chance to open in ODIs and the story could have been a lot different,” Ratra was quoted as saying in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times.

In 2001, Ganguly came up with the idea of sending Sehwag at the top of the order. He opened for the first time against New Zealand and scored 33 off 54. Following a couple of failures, he smashed a 70-ball century against the Kiwis and then started his journey as the opener.

Sachin batted at number four for the first time back in July 1990 against England at Headingley in Leeds. Then from November 1991 to December 1992, he featured regularly at the number four slot. Then again from May 2002 to January 2003, he came in the middle order.

At number four, Sachin notched 2,059 runs in 65 matches at an average of 38.84 with centuries against Kenya, England and Sri Lanka. He batted in that slot for the last time during India’s disastrous campaign in the 2007 World Cup where the team was knocked out after the first round.