As the former legendary India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar turned 50 today, birthday wishes are pouring in for the Master Blaster from across the world. Amidst such memorable wishes, Chandrakant Pandit, who is serving Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as their head coach nowadays, recounted an interesting incident with Tendulkar, in the book named Sachin@50.
“We had a full-fledged match against New Hind Club at the Matunga Gymkhana ground. Now, sir came in the morning and instructed me. ‘Chandu, you need to play Sachin, and he should get to bat in the top five. No way you are going to bench him.”
“Well, I wasn’t convinced that someone that young, just about 12 years old, could field for 50 overs. Also, it was a senior team’s match, and a few seniors and I were convinced that Sachin’s shots won’t have that power.”
“And trust me, even Achrekar sir knew that he needed to generate more power. Since we failed to convince sir, three to four of us decided that whoever gets the first opportunity should run him out as we would need quick runs,” added Pandit.
“Accordingly, when Sachin batted, on my instructions, one of our senior guys tried at least twice to deliberately run him out by calling him for non-existent singles. Somehow the little one managed to avoid getting out and returned to the crease.”
Sachin realised that we were trying to run him out: Pandit
“But Sachin realised that we were trying to run him out, and what he did next was unimaginable. There was a straightforward single, and he called the other guy and ran him out. Of course, there was momentary anger for me, but his cricketing smarts and sharp mind have stayed with me all these years.”