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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Sachin Tendulkar's Wicket: Blessing or Curse?


Sachin Tendulkar has marked his guard, he has taken a glimpse at your field, he has lined you up, the crowd is behind him and you have the red leather ball in your hand. You run in hard, get through his defences and send the stumps cartwheeling. Oh dear, what have you just done? (Also Read: List of Sachin Tendulkar's 110 Teammates)

The little master walks away with his head down, the crowd is baying for your blood, there’s an eerie silence in the ground, you know you’re now the target of a billion people. Then, the feeling sinks in. Bloody hell, you’ve just dismissed the best batsman in the world! You know you’ve achieved something great, your team-mates let you know that when they come charging in towards you, bouncing with child-like enthusiasm. Now, you think, you’ve just dismissed a man who holds almost every batting record that cricket has to offer.
What’s life going to be like for you? Surely you’re going to be a star, or wait, is this going to be a curse? The curse of a billion people?

So has dismissing Tendulkar early in their careers been a blessing or curse for the men involved? Let’s take a look.

Waqar Younis: On the 15th of November 1989 two legends made their debut in Test cricket. One was Sachin Tendulkar and the other Waqar Younis. While Tendulkar didn’t do much in his first Test, Waqar made quite the impression. He castled the other debutant and went on to take three more wickets in the innings. Well, for Waqar, taking the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar was probably a huge blessing. He went on to play 87 Tests and 262 ODIs for Pakistan, taking 373 and 416 wickets in the respective formats.

Allan Donald: A look of determination on his face, sunscreen across his nose and pace that could knock a batsman’s head off. Allan Donald wasted no time in making his presence felt, dismissing Tendulkar on his ODI debut in 1991. Blessing or curse? Well, considering he went on to become one of the most feared bowlers in world cricket, it only has to be a blessing. Not even that last ball run-out in the 1999 World Cup can change that.

Monty Panesar: Monty Panesar made his Test debut in 2006 at Nagpur. He tossed one up, beat the master in flight and trapped him leg before. Seven years later he found himself embroiled in a comical controversy aptly titled ‘The Splashes’ by a British tabloid. Monty found himself out of Sussex and far away from a return to the national side. Looks like celebrating that 2006 personal victory in 2013 without a bottle of champagne cost Monty quite dearly.

Sreesanth: A near-perfect seam position and an unplayable outswinger, Sreesanth was in line to become India’s successor to Zaheer Khan. At least that’s what everyone thought when he dismissed Tendulkar in 2005 in a Challenger Trophy game. The speedster was called-up to play for India within days of that feat and went on to take 75 ODI wickets and 87 Test wickets. Seven years later, he found himself embroiled in a spot-fixing scandal that saw him receive a life ban. So, initial success followed by a big setback. Blessing? Curse? We are pretty confused too.

Saqlain Mushtaq: Less than seven months after making his ODI debut for Pakistan, off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq managed to dismiss Tendulkar at Singapore. Sachin had already scored 100 by then and India went on to win the match, but how did life shape up for the offie? Well, he played 49 Tests for Pakistan and 169 ODIs. In the whites Saqlain managed to claim 208 scalps and in ODIs he ran through 288 batsmen. So, the verdict is…Blessing!

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The only bowler to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar for a duck in Indian domestic first class cricket. Now he plays for India, in Tests, ODIs and T20s. Easy to say that wicket helped.

Hansie Cronje: He dismissed Tendulkar on eight occasions, the same number of times that Shoaib Akhtar, Daniel Vettori, Courtney Walsh and Jason Gillespie have. And Cronje wasn’t even a full-time bowler. So how did life pan out for this South African? Well, it was good at the start, Cronje going on to become one of the most inspirational captains on the circuit. Then it went south, and how. In 2000 he was caught in one of the biggest match-fixing scandals and was handed a life ban, before being killed in an air crash in 2002.

Mohammad Amir: Deadly in-swingers, outrageous outswingers and bundles of talent. Amir dismissed Tendulkar in the 2009 Champions Trophy for just eight. A year later he ended up accepting money to bowl a huge no-ball and was handed a five year ban from the game. No prizes on the blessing or curse answer.

source: starsports.com


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