It is no secret that the legendary Sachin Tendulkar started his career as a middle-order batsman and it was only when Navjot Singh Sindhu got injured in New Zealand that the little master got his first opportunity at the top of the innings in ODIs. And Tendulkar has revealed that he asked skipper Mohammad Azharuddin and manager Ajit Wadekar to give him one chance in Auckland.
Speaking on his personal app 100MB, Tendulkar said: “When I left the hotel in the morning, I didn’t know am going to open the batting. We reached the ground and Azhar and Wadekar Sir was there in the dressing room. They said Sidhu is unfit because he has sprained his neck. So, who do we open with and I said give me one chance. I am so confident I can go out and attack all those bowlers.
“The first reaction was why do I want to open? But i was confident I could do that. And it was not like I would slog upfront and come back, I would continue batting after that and play my normal game which is attacking.
“Till then, only once in 1992 World Cup, Mark Greatbatch had done that because the normal trend was to play off the first 15 overs as the ball was new. You would see the shine off and then slowly look to accelerate and press the pedal as hard as you can in the last 7 to 8 overs. So, I thought if I could go and press the pedal hard in the first 15 overs, it would put a lot of pressure on the opposition and I said if i fail I will never come back to you, but give me one chance. And it clicked.”
Tendulkar finished with 82 runs from 49 balls that included 15 boundaries and two sixes. And there was no looking back as he went on to play some classics at the top of the order for India as he finished his ODI career with 18,426 runs that included 49 hundreds and 96 fifties.