‘Had to beg and plead to open innings for India’, reveals Sachin Tendulkar

The Statesman

The Statesman

Author 2019-09-26 15:12:00

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Indian legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar during the final match of the 2019 World Cup between New Zealand and England at the Lord's Cricket Stadium in London, England on July 14, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar, one of the best openers of the game, has revealed in a LinkedIn video that he had to “beg and plead” for the opener’s slot so that he could play in an aggressive manner, which was not the norm back in those days. However, the decision of opening the innings later turned out into a fruitful affair for Tendulkar.

“In 1994, when I started opening the batting for India, the strategy used by all the teams was to save wickets. What I tried to do was slightly out of the box. I thought I could go upfront and take the opposition bowlers on. But I had to beg and plead to give me a chance. If I fail, I won’t come after you again,” Tendulkar said in the video.

“In that first match (against New Zealand at Auckland), I scored 82 off 49 balls, so I didn’t have to ask again if I would get another chance. They were keen for me to open. But what I’m trying to say here is, don’t be afraid of failure,” he said.

India, under the captaincy of Mohammed Azharuddin, beat New Zealand in Auckland in that match with Tendulkar opening the batting for the first time with Ajay Jadeja.

Talking about Tendulkar, he recorded scores of 82, 63, 40, 63 and 73 in his first five innings as an opening batsman and cemented his position as an opener. In 344 matches as an opener, he made 15,310 runs at 48.29 and scored 45 of his 49 ODI hundreds.

The batting legend finished his ODI career with 18426 runs in 463 matches. He has 49 ODI centuries against his name. The runs and centuries of Tendulkar are the most by any batsman in the history of the format.

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