Looking back at his career, Sachin Tendulkar has admitted that he was so confident that he could open the innings in place of the injured Navjot Singh Sidhu and attack the Kiwi bowlers in 1994. The Indian legend also revealed that it took some time to convince Mohammed Azharuddin and Ajit Wadekar.
In 1994, when the Indian opener Navjot Singh Sidhu was injured, the Indian management had to make a decision. It was then when a young Sachin walked up to the then coach Ajit Wadekar and skipper Azharuddin to convince them to let him open the innings. Until then, the strategy that was commonly employed by the teams was to take it slow early on in the innings before the late acceleration. However, Sachin in a chat on his personal app 100MB, revealed that he was so confident that he could attack the New Zealand bowlers on that day.
“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,” revealed Sachin, reported Hindustan Times.
While the trend was to play off the first 15 overs, Sachin felt that it was in his zone to slog in the early overs to put New Zealand bowlers under pressure. It was a bold move from the right-hander, considering that the innings was a make-or-break for him in international cricket. Against New Zealand on that day, Sachin ended up scoring a quick-fire 82 runs off 49 balls. However, little did any know that it would change Indian cricket’s history, as Sachin went on to score 15,310 runs as an opener for the national team.
“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,” he concluded.
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